Miffed HI look to pull out of CWG

Miffed HI look to pull out of CWG

A miffed Hockey India on Saturday has asked the Indian Olympic Association to withdraw the men’s hockey team from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games after it came to light that full-back Harbir Singh Sandhu has been denied accreditation by the organisers of the 2014 CWG.

Harbir, whose name featured in the 28-member provisional list of men’s hockey team for the Glasgow Games, has been denied accreditation for the mega-event following a UK Home Office Background Check result.

But the decision did not go down well with the HI whose secretary general Narinder Batra on Saturday shot off a letter to newly-elected IOA president N Ramachandran and secretary general Rajiv Mehta and requested them to take up the matter with Glasgow Games organisers.

“One of our shortlisted athletes for CWG in Glasgow has been denied visa. No reason is being given. He is a young budding athlete and our prospect for 2016 Olympics. He has travelled with the Indian team earlier on international tours,” Batra wrote in the letter.

“I feel the IOA needs to push and take this matter forcefully with CWG otherwise it is my personal opinion that IOA, as a matter of protest, should withdraw the men’s hockey team from CWG. I will take up the issue with HI Executive Board on March 29.

It’s an insult

“There is no guarantee that Harbir Singh Sandhu would be in final 16 of CWG but we feel this is an insult for a budding Indian athlete and should not be accepted quietly,” Batra said in his letter.

Harbir, 24, is a promising full-back hailing from Punjab and has been part of the Indian team in many international tours.

The matter came to light after Commonwealth Games Associations Relations Manager, Robert Vergouw wrote a letter to Ramachandran and Mehta on March 10, informing them about the refusal of accreditation to Harbir.

“It is with great regret that I must inform you that one of your delegation members (Harbir Singh Sandhu) has had his request for a Glasgow 2014 accreditation refused due to a UK Home Office Background Check (BGC) result,” Vergouw wrote in his communication.