The sports ministry Monday finally paved the way for the national hockey team's camp that will start Tuesday at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Bangalore.
The decision was taken after the steering committee of the sports ministry approved Hockey India's (HI) Long Term Development Plan (LTDP) here. The camp with 48 probables for the Olympics was originally scheduled to start Monday.
Steering committee chairman Rahul Bhatnagar, a joint secretary in the sports ministry, blamed HI for the delay.
"First they said the camp will start from March 13. Then immediately after the qualifiers they wanted it to be held from March 5. But there are certain procedures and the players ideally should have been given some rest. The flip-flop from HI was surprising. Today we have cleared their LTDP and the camp will start from Tuesday," Bhatnagar told IANS.
HI secretary general Narinder Batra refused to comment on the flip-flop by his body.
"I don't want to go into those details now. The good thing is that the camp is beginning from tomorrow. We have also got approval on LTDP from the Sports Ministry," Batra told reporters after the meeting.
Batra also refused to comment when asked if action will be taken against those players, who are competing in the unsanctioned World Series Hockey (WSH).
"I don't want to say anything on that. Let the camp begin tomorrow and see who are the players who report to the camp", he said.
Batra also said that HI have got an approval on Indian team's proposed tour to Pakistan but it will be finalised only after getting the approval of other ministries.
"In principle, we have got the permission, but we are yet to get permission from the home and external affairs ministries," he said.