Hockey India threatens to pull out of CWG


Hockey India (HI) and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) have kept on fighting with each other for quite some time and the outcome of the latest fight between the two sports bodies is pretty shameful.

HI secretary general Narinder Batra on Saturday said that the HI will withdraw the men’s hockey team from the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, after Harbir Singh Sandhu, who is among the 28 probables shortlisted for the event, was declined accreditation by the organisers.

Batra said that he is furious to know that IOA president, N Ramachandran, and secretary general Rajiv Mehta were informed about this decision on February 5, but the duo did not take any action.

“They only care about getting accreditation for their own officials. They are not bothered about the players,” Batra told dna on Saturday. “They are behaving like postmen, just receiving letters, sitting on it and not doing anything about it.”

The event’s associations relations manager, Robert Vergouw, wrote a letter to the IOA, informing them about the refusal to give Harbir accreditation “due to a UK Home Office Background Check result”.

Now, Batra has decided to fight this decision tooth and nail.

“You cannot refuse an athlete accreditation for such events. You need to prove that he is a terrorist or a criminal. Just on the basis of a name, and without any proper check of his background, you cannot reach a conclusion. I feel insulted. I know the IOA will not do anything about this, but I will ensure the protest reaches a logical conclusion. And if my executive committee members support my stand, we will withdraw our team from the event,” Batra added.

The 24-year-old Harbir is a full-back from Punjab and has represented India on several recent international tours.