Middleton looks to future as England protest error

15 June 2014 / 22:05

England Hockey have questioned why Argentina were allowed to field an additional player for just over two minutes of their World Cup bronze medal play-off defeat in Holland.

The score was 0-0 after a closely matched first half but Matias Paredes scored twice in a minute after the restart to secure his country's first medal at the event.

But England Hockey chairman Philip Kimberley claimed the result was 'materially affected' by Argentina's failure to make officials aware they had withdrawn a player, after they played for two minutes and 26 seconds with 12 men.

The penalty for this infringement should have been the temporary suspension of their captain - which would have occurred during the period Argentina scored their decisive two goals in 60 seconds.

But after a protest, in which the tournament director acknowledged a breach of regulations and ruled the Argentina captain would be suspended for their next match at world level, Kimberley decided to take no further action.

“It is most regrettable that we have been placed in this position, but we believed it was appropriate to invoke the process that exists for these situations," he said.  

"We feel it is important that the facts are in the public domain and to ensure that the management of games is tightened up to avoid a repetition of this situation.  

"Following discussion with the management team, we owed it to the players to make this protest as we strongly feel that the game was materially affected.”

Meanwhile, England captain Barry Middleton has backed his team to bounce back from their disappointment at next month's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow - where new world champions Australia will be his team's chief rivals.

"We’ve shown so far in the tournament we can do it. We came back from the Australia game to win a massive game against Belgium," he said. 

"We played against the Dutch in the semi-finals and we were really disappointed as we came so close. 

"This match didn’t go for us and we need to come back from it but that doesn’t start now, it starts when we get back home and start training again. When you make a semi-final fourth is the place you really don’t want to come, we’ve done it a few times now and it’s starting to hurt.

“We have to prove in the Commonwealth Games that we can deal with the big games. Semi-finals are always against tough teams and we didn’t want to be in this game, we wanted to be in the final. We’d have been happy with third but it wasn’t what we came for.”

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