By K. Arumugam
It seems to me now hockey cannot live without the likes of Denis Merediths. They are experts to themselves, unparalleled masters in the eyes of the FIH.
This expert from Australia is omnipresent, everywhere during international competitions, at least in India in the recent times.
Yesterday, he intervened when Indian team chief coach and media persons were interacting. Media has no problem, the coach has no problem, the Organizing Committee that thoughtfully takes action to divert media’s attention to sports proper, it has no problem.
But this expert has problem.
He ‘ordered’ all the mediamen out, and gave the wisdom that the training sessions are only for the teams. That may be Australian policy, and if it is so we don’t care.
For a tournament that takes place in India, we have our views.
If Meredith is entitled to his opinion, so also I am.
I understand he is an Australian. If he is expert of everything, my simple challenge to him is only one.
Can you ever get field hockey on the front page of any of your national newspapers?
Of course if it is not Australian women hockey’s lesbian topic.
These experts organized a World Cup recently in Delhi. The media got the accreditation after boycotting a press conference of none other than FIH president. The entire press walked out as soon as the Chief started to speak. We got our accreditation within next 24 hours.
This time, despite the event being doubly mega in size and proportion, the accreditations have been given 10 days in advance. This is the precision with which the Organizing Committee of the CWG works. The FIH could not do even accreditation business in time.
Meredith has now spoilt the purpose for which advance accreditation is given.
What will happen now. Journalists are not jobless to cover hockey. They will go to another sport where they are welcomed.
Who is the loser, Mr. Meredith, hockey or journalists.
Not long ago a gentleman called Phil Appleyard came to India and prevented five luxury cars being given to players. He quoted amateur class in his favour, the donors took away the cars, the five players lost what was theirs.
This Phil did this when exactly 11 years after the International Olympic Committee has taken off the Amateur class from statutes. And the subcommittee recommended for that was headed by an Indian.
We then had Phil Appleyards, now Merediths. As long as long these self-styled preachers on other countries, after having failed miserably back home, hockey has no chance of improving its profile.
Exactly this is what they want, I feel. Because, they can be masters as long as hockey remains a small sport.
Before putting the finish line I wish to remind Meredith again of my Open Challenge – can you bring hockey on the front page of any of your national newspaper anytime in your life time?
For heavens sake accept my challenge.