The inaugural match of the Hockey World Cup between Spain and South Africa here on Sunday was not only action packed but also eventful with the video referral being used for first time in the history of the prestigious quadrennial event.

The referral system was introduced for the first time in a World Cup here after its debut in a major competition in the Champions Trophy in Australia last year and South Africa used it for the first time in a World Cup match on Sunday.

In the 44th minute of the match, Malaysian referee Amarjit Singh did not give South Africa a penalty corner.

South Africa appealed against the decision and video umpire Jamson Hamish of England upheld the appeal though the Proteas could not convert the penalty corner into goal.

A minute later, South Africa asked for a video referral against the decision of Dutch referee Van Eert Roel to award Spain’s third goal apparently on the ground that the ball was high in the air before Rodrigo Garza slammed it home.

The video umpire, however, turned down the appeal and the goal stood in favour of Spain.

Any player of a team can appeal for video referral against a decision of the referee regarding a goal, penalty corner and penalty stroke.

If a team was successful in an appeal, it can make another one. But if the appeal was unsuccessful its right ends there.

The match, which was watched by 3000-odd spectators, also had a casualty, not players but in the form of Irish umpire Colin Hutchinson who retired after being hurt.

Fifteen minutes into the match, Hutchinson was hit high on the thigh and he had to be given first aid on the sidelines and later did not take field.

Reserve referee Amarjit replaced Hutchinson and officiated in the remaining 55 minutes of the match which was won by Spain 4-2.

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