Netball: World body to review umpiring issue after Singapore official is slammed by New Zealand coach

Singapore umpire Joan Yuliani (above) was criticised for her refereeing decisions by New Zealand coach Noeline Taurua on Oct 27 after the Australian Diamonds beat the Silver Ferns to win the Constellation Cup in Perth.
Singapore umpire Joan Yuliani (above) was criticised for her refereeing decisions by New Zealand coach Noeline Taurua on Oct 27 after the Australian Diamonds beat the Silver Ferns to win the Constellation Cup in Perth.PHOTO: NETBALL SINGAPORE/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - The International Netball Federation (INF) is reviewing feedback from athletes, coaches and officials involved in the recent Constellation Cup between Australia and New Zealand to "understand what has happened", following widespread criticism of Singapore umpire Joan Yuliani by New Zealand coach Noeline Taurua.

INF chief executive Clare Briegal said in a statement on Monday (Oct 28) that the federation is "aware of comments made regarding the standard of officiating at the Constellation Cup held between Australia and New Zealand over the past two weeks".

She added: "The INF welcomes feedback on the performance of its officials and will work with the officiating community and our member associations to ensure we address any concerns".

Yuliani, who was awarded the International Umpires' Award (IUA) in 2015 - the highest umpiring qualification in netball - was criticised for her refereeing decisions by Taurua on Sunday (Oct 27) after the Australian Diamonds beat the Silver Ferns 53-46 to win the Constellation Cup in Perth.

With New Zealand called for 66 penalties to Australia's 63, Taurua, who had led New Zealand to the World Cup earlier in the year, felt the Singaporean made many wrong calls in the fourth Test match of the series, according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP).

According to the AAP, she believed that it was a mistake to have Yuliani officiating the fourth match when the Singaporean had not handled any of the first three games in the series.

Insisting the Silver Ferns are "not a 60-penalty team", the 51-year-old, who reportedly vowed to lodge a formal complaint, was quoted as saying: "We have somebody that comes in from Singapore - where are they ranked? - and blows it (the interpretations of the rules) out of the window."

New Zealand had averaged 42.3 penalties per game for the first three games of the Constellation Cup, while Australia averaged 57.3 penalties per game.

The officiating led to former Australia and South Africa coach Norma Plummer to lament on Twitter: "What disastrous exhibition of umpiring..."

And in an article titled "Diamonds put a winning if messy full stop on gruelling netball year", British daily The Guardian noted that "sub-standard umpiring by neutral officials unaccustomed to the speed and skill of top-flight netball"... "was strongly criticised by Taurua post-game".

Netball Singapore chief executive Cyrus Medora told The Straits Times the association stands behind Yuliani, who has officiated at events including the 2017 World Youth Cup, last year's Commonwealth Games and Quad Series tournament between England and Australia.

He added: "She was just re-endorsed for her IUA (International Umpires' Award) badge in England at the world championships and was commended for her umpiring."

ST has reached out to Yuliani for comment but she has yet to respond.