Ugly clash over hockey turf

Ugly clash over hockey turf

Ugly clash over hockey turf

The simmering tensions between the Karnataka State Hockey Association and Hockey Karnataka reached a flashpoint on Saturday with the two bodies clashing over the right to use the aritifical turf at the hockey stadium in Akkithimmanahalli.

The problem arose when the Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports gave permission to HK to conduct their second Bangalore League Championship after having allotted the window to KSHA for their ‘A’ Division League a month earlier.

While the opening two matches of the Bangalore League went off smoothly, things came to boiling point at 4.00 pm when the KSHA ‘A’ Division League tie was scheduled. KSHA officials came onto the pitch after HK told them they can’t conduct their league match as they didn’t have the right to use the pitch.

Flashing a letter, HK officials said they had obtained the permission from DYES to conduct their league match while the irked KSHA members, crying foul play, demanded an explanation on how the authorities could grant permission to two bodies to conduct their leagues at the same time on the same pitch.

Sensing trouble, both bodies had approached the Police, who, after failing to strike a compromise between the groups, decided no match should take place until the issue is sorted out amicably.

“This is another sabotage attempt,” thundered KSHA secretary K Krishnamurthy. “We sent a letter to DYES on December 5 saying we need the pitch until February 15 to complete our leagues. We got a letter from them approving the same. Yesterday, we came to know that HK will be conducting their league. We have no problem with that but we were shocked to know that they had scheduled a match at 4 pm, the same time as ours. This is completely ridiculous.”

DYES Director HS Venkatesh, told Deccan Herald KSHA has no locus standi and the right to use the pitch belongs to HK. “It does not matter who obtains the permission first. KSHA has absolutely no locus standi on this issue. HK is the body recognised by Hockey India to run the affairs of the sport in the State. They also have the backing of the Karnataka Olympic Association.

“KSHA is an illegal body. Their rights on the clubhouse there is in the court while the playing area solely belongs to HK. So, the priority to use the pitch lies with HK and KSHA needs to compromise. KSHA can conduct their tournaments provided nothing clashes with HK.”
The stadium was constructed and the artificial turf laid by the State Government for the 1997 National Games.
Krishnamurthy, however, begged to differ. “The property belongs to KSHA and we have a 99-year lease document with the BBMP to prove that. He has been fed with absolutely wrong information and he is making comments even without verifying the facts.
“Also how can he call us illegal. We have so many bodies that are affiliated to us. Can HK match our numbers. The issue of whether we are a legal body, the club house, the stadium etc are different issues. I would request the director not to mix things up. Despite owning the property, paying its taxes and taking care of it, we are driven to such a perilous situation.”
HK secretary AB Subbaiah, who held onfield discussions in the presence of cops with Krishnamurthy, said they had to conduct the tournament at a short notice because they had to pick the
State team for the upcoming National Games. “The KSHA uses the pitch for almost 250 days. We use it only for 100 days. We have to pick the team for the National Games which is starting on January 31. I know KSHA and HK cannot arrive at a compromise due to ego issues. It’s better someone from the government takes a call on this.”
DH News Service