Mumbai:The Indian hockey team, which failed to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in 80 years, returned home in the wee hours on Wednesday morning with coach Joaquim Carvalho blaming poor umpiring as one of the reasons for the debacle.
Carvalho, who had decided to resign owning moral responsibility for the fiasco, said there was nothing wrong with the preparation but the team failed to play to their potential when it mattered the most.
India lost to Great Britain 0-2 in the final of the qualifying event in Santiago, Chile, and the disappointment was evident on the part of the players who looked grim and tired after the long flight home.
"The preparation went on the right lines and even now we have a very good team. I am not giving lame excuses, but it is just that we did not play to our potential and we lost the final," Carvalho told reporters at the airport just after the team landed.
The coach was critical of the umpiring standard in the tournament, saying his boys were at the receiving end of "unnecessary booking".
"We played with ten players for 25 minutes (against Great Britain) and got cards, which was not deserving. The umpires reprimanded even those players who did not get a card. They issued letters and called the players from hotel rooms after the matches at 11 pm at night. And after that the boys were kept waiting for more than one hour by the umpires," he added.
Carvalho recalled a match in which the umpires issued warnings against his boys that if they commit a foul in one match they (players) will be pulled up in the next one.
He said he would take up the matter with the Indian Hockey Federation when he submits a report.
"I will certainly take up this issue when submit my report to the Federation," he said.
Asked whether he would reconsider his resignation, he said, "I will have to consider with what the federation decides. I haven't spoken to Gill yet. But certainly with the resignation, the morale in the team is very low."