It's players' decision: HI

It's players' decision: HI

Choose between country and WSH, warns national body

HI secretary-general Narinder Batra said on Wednesday that the national camp for the Feb 15-26 Olympic qualifiers is expected to kick off here in the second week of December and will go on till Jan 26.

The national camp is bound to clash with the WSH to be played from Dec 17, 2011 to Jan 26, 2012 and HI has already made it clear that it is mandatory for all players to attend the camp.

WSH, which is not a sanctioned league of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), has signed up quite a few India players, including Arjun Halappa, Sardar Singh, Adrian D’Souza and Prabhjot Singh who will all be leading various city-based franchises.  

“If any player skips the national camp, we will be left with no option but to induct juniors for the Olympic qualifiers. It is for the players to make the choice,” Batra told IANS.
Batra’s statement is short of a formal warning to players, though he said he was only clarifying the position.

“We cannot stop the players from playing wherever they want to. They all know that they would be playing in an event not sanctioned by the FIH and it is for them to decide what is in their best interests.”

Batra said the dates of the national camp were finalised long back and it was not that they were fixed all of a sudden.

In fact, it was the WSH that deliberately chose the dates to clash with the national camp, he said.

“It is not that we are announcing the dates of the national camp now, we had submitted our programme months in advance to the Sports Ministry for approval. The tentative date given for the camp to start was between Dec 11-15.

“We know that the players will be at a loss if they do not play in the WSH. We are, in fact, in touch with some corporates to announce cash rewards for players of the team if they qualify for the Olympics. That can happen only if they play and qualify for the London Olympics.”