Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Empty Dhyan Chand Stadium ...

THE Dhyan Chand Stadium in New Delhi can seat 16,000 fans, but since the start of the Junior  World Cup, not more than 100 ticket buying fans have turned up to watch every match day, even when hosts India are playing.
   It only costs 50 rupees per-person, and its free seating around the stadium, but still, the fans have yet to show up as the tournament enters the knock-out stages.
   This is really a worying factor for the organisers, as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has awarded India four major events for the next year, including the 2016 (correct) men's Junior World Cup and the 2018 men's World Cup.
   India will also play host to the 2015 and 2017 editions of men's Hockey World League Finals to be held in the months of December.
   Amazing India also hosted the senior men's world cup in 2010, and will be hosting it again eight years later, not to mention back-to-back Junior World Cups.
  "Delhi is not a sporting state and people here lead a hectic life and have no time to come and watch hockey matches. I hope the organisers will hold the other major tournaments elswhere in India, because it will be the same empty seats be it senior or junior World Cup," said an official who declined to be named.
   The India hockey team, on fire during the Sultan of Johor Cup, has also been a disappointment at their own yard, as they struggled to reach their true form.
    Meanwhile, Pakistan took a 2-0 lead before collapsing 2-2 to Belgium in a Group A match yesterday. Pakistan's No 9 Muhammad Dilber scored in the 41st and 54th minutes, while Belgium's No 9 Maxine Plennevaux scored two in the 60th and 65th minutes.
    The match concluded quarter-finalists from Group A and Group B, with Belgium playing France while Australia and Germany battle it out in the other last-eight.