No ground to train for hockey team

No ground to train for hockey team

By: || Updated: 01 Jan 1970 12:00 AM







New Delhi: Indian hockey team's preparation for the London Olympics
is in jeopardy as the Sports Ministry is yet to approve the training camp,
which was scheduled to start at the SAI centre in Bangalore from Monday.

The
delay on part of Sports Ministry, who was intimated about the camp last
November, has left the players in the lurch. And the never-ending tug of
war between Hockey India (HI) and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) is not
doing the players any good.

"HI had submitted a revised long-term
development programme to the Sport Ministry and SAI in November after
consulting the various Federations. The camp starts tomorrow but the govt
is yet to get back to us," said a HI official.

HI had submitted a
proposal to the ministry on November 19, requesting for the commencement
of a camp for the senior men's hockey team subject to qualification for
the London Games.

HI sent another letter to the ministry and SAI
on December 8 and, after India qualified for the Olympics after winning
the qualifiers, the federation wrote another letter on February 27th,
requesting the ministry to approve and sanction the camp.

On
March 1, SAI executive director PC Kashyap also wrote to the ministry to
convene a meeting to discuss the approval of the proposed camp, but the HI
is still waiting for a response from the govt.

"India's
preparation is suffering, the players were supposed to reach Bangalore
today but now they are waiting at their home, even coach Michael Nobbs too
is in Delhi," the source said.

"Without a sanctioning letter from
the ministry, the camp cannot start in Bangalore as SAI will not allow the
players to assemble there.

"I don't know what is the problem with
the camp in Bangalore as it is not even a venue for the ongoing World
Series Hockey (WSH)," he added.

The IHF-backed WSH has been the
bone of contention between the warring HI and IHF and the stand-off has
resulted in most of the national players skipping the tournament, fearing
a ban from International Hockey Federation (FIH), which approves HI.

The
ongoing WSH started three days after the qualifiers.

The ministry
has been supporting the WSH, which was postponed in December for the
Olympic qualifiers, but its inaction regarding the approval of the camp
has left players confused and also affected their Olympics preparation.

The
Madhya Pradesh government, meanwhile, has stepped in saying they would
bear the entire cost of the camp if HI wants to host the training camp
there.

"The MP govt has supported the camp and said they are
ready to host the camp there and they would spend all the money if the
central govt doesn't approve the camp," the source said.




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