Friday, January 8, 2010

India players boycott training

NEW DELHI, Jan 8, 2010 (AFP) - India’s preparations for the upcoming field hockey World Cup suffered a setback when the country’s leading players boycotted a training camp over non-payment of match fees, a report said Friday.
“We have decided to boycott the camp indefinitely till we are paid our money,” India captain Rajpal Singh was quoted as saying by the Press Trust Of India news agency.
“Earlier we used to be paid after every tournament but it is not the case now. We have reminded the officials a few times but nothing has been done. We will now report to the camp only after we are paid.” India and arch-rivals Pakistan have been drawn together in Pool B alongside Australia, Spain, England and South Africa in the 12-nation tournament to be played in New Delhi from February 28 to March 13.
Germany head Pool A, which includes the Netherlands, South Korea, New Zealand, Canada and Argentina.
The players’ boycott comes at a time when India have been struggling to revive their fortunes after failing to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Hockey India, an interim body formed to run the game in the wake of the Olympic fiasco, said it had called the players planning the no-show for a meeting here on Saturday.
“I will talk to them to understand what exactly their grievances are. But we are confident about working out a solution when we talk to them,” Hockey India president Ashok Mattoo said.
India’s last match was in the Champions Challenge tournament last month at Salt Lake, Argentina, where they won a bronze.