The mistrust between the two warring hockey federations is so deep-rooted that what one considers a simple disciplinary action is being termed as an attempt to sabotage Monday’s agreement by the other.A day after Hockey India (HI) and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) thrashed out a "working arrangement", the deal is facing its first big test after the former issued show cause notices to the five players who had deserted the camp here to attend the World Series Hockey (WSH) function in Mumbai last week organised by the latter.
Asked to explain
Adrian D’Souza, Arjun Halappa, Sandeep Singh, Sardar Singh and Prabhjot Singh have been asked to give reasons why disciplinary action should not be taken against them for leaving the camp to attend a programme organised by the rival body.
“They have been asked to send their replies to Pargat Singh, chairman of the disciplinary committee, by August 2. In the meantime, the coach in-charge has been asked to allow them to take part in training activities till the camp breaks for a week on July 30,” Anupam Gulati, executive director, HI, told HT. Gulati added, a final decision on the players would be taken before the camp re-starts on August 8.
The coaches were expecting a call on Monday evening after the warring federation decided to set up a Working Committee to select teams and clear the path for the hosting of the WSH. The five players were also told that no action would be taken against them. So, the show cause notices have come as a bolt from the blue for the players and IHF officials alike.
“This is an attempt to sabotage the deal,” said an IHF official on condition of anonymity. “It was decided that the players would not be penalised for fulfilling their contractual obligations and (Narinder) Batra had agreed to it. Also, how can HI unilaterally decide on a matter related to the team when the eight-member working committee has been entrusted that job,” said the official.
“It seems somebody was waiting for the deal to be signed before playing this mischief,” he added.
Sources said IHF president and member of the newly formed committee, RK Shetty, has raised the matter with joint secretary, sports, Injeti Srinivas, who has assured him the players would not be penalised. The players have been reportedly told not to respond to the notices.