Laussane: Despite their men’s team winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics, Hockey Belgium voiced unhappiness with the outcomes of the FIH Hockey Stars Awards 2020-21 on Wednesday. Indian hockey players moved smoothly through all the categories, with Belgium finishing runners-up in three of them.
Athletes Gurjit Kaur (Best Player, Women), Harmanpreet Singh (Best Player, Men), Savita (Best Goalkeeper, Women), PR Sreejesh (Best Goalkeeper, Men), Sharmila Devi (Best Rising Star, Women) and Vivek Prasad (Best Rising Star, Men) as well as the coaches of India’s women’s team, Sjoerd Marijne (NED) and India’s men’s team, Graham Reid (AUS) grabbed the highest number of votes in their respective categories.
Hockey Belgium released a statement on social media expressing their disappointment and explaining that it was a “failure of the voting system”. They said they will work with the world governing body to create a “fairer” system.
“Hockey Belgium is very disappointed with the outcome of @FIH_Hockey Star Awards. A gold winning team with multiple nominees in all categories but doesn’t win a single award demonstrates failure of the voting system. We will work with FIH to ensure a fairer system in the future,” they tweeted.
Hockey Belgium is very disappointed with the outcome of @FIH_Hockey Star Awards. A gold winning team with multiple nominees in all categories but doesn't win a single award demonstrates failure of the voting system. We will work with FIH to ensure a fairer system in the future. https://t.co/n7KAw2SioN
— Hockey Belgium (@hockeybe) October 6, 2021
Netherlands, who won the women’s event, only finished runners-up in two categories.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 global health epidemic on the international calendar, there was no FIH Hockey Stars Awards in 2020, hence this year’s awards covered the period from January 2020 till the conclusion of the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
The voting period began on August 23 and came to an end on September 15, 2021. National Association votes, was, represented by their respective national leaders and coaches, accounted for 50% of the final result, while fans and players (25%) and media (25%) made up the other half of the votes.
RESULTS – WOMEN
FIH Player of the Year: 1. Gurjit Kaur (IND) 2. Eva de Goede (NED) 3. Frédérique Matla (NED) 4. Agustina Albertarrio (ARG) 5. Agustina Gorzelany (ARG) 6. Maria Verschoor (NED)
FIH Goalkeeper of the Year: 1. Savita (IND) 2. Belén Succi (ARG) 3. Maddie Hinch (GBR/ENG)
FIH Rising Star of the Year: 1. Sharmila Devi (IND) 2. Valentina Raposo (ARG) 3. Fiona Crackles (GBR/ENG)
FIH Coach of the Year: 1. Sjoerd Marijne (NED – Team IND) 2. Alyson Annan (AUS – Team NED) 3. Mark Hager (AUS – Team GBR/ENG)
RESULTS – MEN
FIH Player of the Year: 1. Harmanpreet Singh (IND) 2. Alexander Hendrickx (BEL) 3. Arthur van Doren (BEL) 4. Aran Zalewski (AUS) 5. Tim Brand (AUS) 6. Jake Whetton (AUS)
FIH Goalkeeper of the Year: 1. PR Sreejesh (IND) 2. Vincent Vanasch (BEL) 3. Andrew Charter (AUS)
FIH Rising Star of the Year: 1. Vivek Prasad (IND) 2. Mustaphaa Cassiem (RSA) 3. Sean Findlay (NZL)
FIH Coach of the Year: 1. Graham Reid (AUS – Team IND) 2. Shane McLeod (NZL – Team BEL) 3. Colin Batch (AUS).