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As clear as mud in the madding crowd

Who is Ajay Maken? Well, for an over enthusiastic group who dashed into the National Stadium just before the Indian men's team took centre stage against Singapore in their Olympic Qualifier opener, the sports minister came to be known as 'Oh that's the Delhi ka sports minister!'

india Updated: Feb 18, 2012 23:57 IST
Sharmistha Chaudhuri

Who is Ajay Maken? Well, for an over enthusiastic group who dashed into the National Stadium just before the Indian men's team took centre stage against Singapore in their Olympic Qualifier opener, the sports minister came to be known as 'Oh that's the Delhi ka sports minister!'

As the enthusiastic hockey fan stood corrected by an elderly gentleman, there was no stopping the faux pas. Waving the national flag with such emotion (it would even put cricket fans to shame), this young group was indeed trying to show off their hockey knowledge.

As Maken shook hands with captain Bharat Chhetri, the group called out 'Go Sunil!' Sunil Chhetri on a hockey field? Doesn't seem likely as the striker would test his football skills first.

And why stop there? After all, Dhanraj Pillay seemed to have magically stepped on to the pitch in place of midfielder Ignace Tirkey! However, in all fairness, the pride with which these youngsters showed their support, was indeed mind blowing as the match soon became a one-sided affair.

Divided loyalty?
Supporting France or India? If one came across a teenage trio wearing Sardar Singh's No. 8 jersey and then having draped the French national flag on their shoulders, it would indeed be a confusing sight. The explanation - "Our friend Sardar gave us the jerseys," said Augustin Demeestere, who represents the French U-18 side. Currently based in Pune where the national team often practices, the three struck up a friendship with the players. So what about loyalty? "We support France when they play and India when they take the pitch," he said.