Thursday, June 20, 2024

Controversial WSH postponed till Feb 29


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New Delhi: Mired in controversies since its very inception, the multi-crore World Series Hockey was on Monday postponed until after the Olympic Qualifiers to be held here in February next year to facilitate the participation of India’s top players.

The multi-crore event, a joint initiative of Nimbus and the de-recognised Indian Hockey Federation, was to start on December 17 here but with several Indian players pulling out to join the national camp in Bangalore for the Olympic Qualifiers, the Rs 100-crore event has been pushed to February 29.

The opening ceremony and inaugural match of WSH will now take place on February 29 and the final of the event will be held on April 1, 2012, the organisers said in a statement.

The Olympic qualifiers are scheduled from February 16 to February 25 here. “We have postponed the tournament and it will start after the Olympic qualifiers, under the same format. We did not want to put the national players who have signed contracts with us but later withdrawn into any trouble. I want them to play in the Olympic qualifiers and I will be happy if India qualifies for London Olympics,” IHF President R K Shetty said.

The inaugural edition of the tournament got caught in the cross-fire between the two rival bodies, Hockey India and IHF, with the International Hockey Federation warning the players not to participate in the FIH-unsanctioned event.The FIH had backed HI, stating that players joining the league would be suspended from international matches.

As a result, 12 top Indian players pulled out of in favour of the national camp which began yesterday.

The likes of skipper Bharat Chettri, Tushar Khandekar, Yuvraj Walmiki, Sreejesh, Sandeep Singh and Sardar Singh were among those who decided to skip WSH.

The first signs of national players not taking part came to light when six of them wrote a signed letter to HI stating that they will take part in the camp. The next day six more sent across a similar letter to HI.

The IHF, in turn, accused the HI of trying to sabotage the league. (PTI)


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