The video referral system introduced for the first time in the World Cup hockey tournament got rid of one of its criticisms when it started showing the replays of the referrals on the big screen at the stadium in the Pool ‘A' match between New Zealand and Canada on Monday.

On the first day, the system proved effective in providing some penalty corners to the teams. Even India benefited when a referral earned a penalty corner and subsequently a goal. However, it kept the media as well as the crowd in the dark as the replays were not displayed on the big screen.

Earlier in the day, Tournament Director Ken Read had said he would like the referral replays to be shown on the big screen.

“I am aware of it, I recognise the problem. I want to solve it. It is a problem not only for the media but also for the spectators as well,” he said, adding that the replays could not be shown to the crowd on Sunday due to technical glitches.

The system has drawn appreciation from various quarters. Under this, each side gets one chance to seek a penalty corner, penalty stroke or goal. If a team appeals successfully, then it gets another chance for a referral.

Thumbs up

South African skipper Austin Smith backed the system even though it slows down the game. “It is quite a new system. There are some TV issues. The umpires will get used to it with time. I am in favour of this,” Smith said.

Kuku Walia, an umpires' manager in the International Hockey Federation (FIH), said it was a useful tool for the umpires. “It is a very good system even though it slows down the pace of the game. What's important is that it is delivering the correct decisions,” Walia said.

Cash award

Sahara India Pariwar has announced a cash award of Rs. two lakh each for the players and coaches of the Indian hockey team following the side's emphatic 4-1 win against Pakistan in the World Cup on Sunday.

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