The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Tuesday said media access to the training of the World Cup hockey teams will not be allowed without the activation of the accreditation which is "expected" to come into effect only a day before the start of the event Feb 28.
After media persons took it up with Hockey India (HI) over the ban on coverage of practice sessions, federation officials Tuesday requested the FIH to allow media access to the practice sessions and facilitate their meeting with the players of the participating countries.
FIH refused to relent and insisted that no journalist will be allowed entry into the
Major Dhyanchand National Stadium, the World Cup venue, without assigning any reason or logic except raising the issue of activating of the accreditation.
In a statement, the FIH tournament director Ken Read said: "The teams have started to arrive in Delhi for the Hero Honda FIH World Cup. Training has commenced at the Major Dhyanchand National Stadium. Media access to training will not be possible until accreditations are active, which is expected to be on Feb 27th."
It all started with the the sports ministry keeping the media off Indian team's practice sessions, citing security reasons, after the camp was shifted from Pune to
New Delhi Feb 3.
The agitated media took it up with HI which promised to address the issue. But neither the sports ministry nor the FIH would budge despite Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi pleading with them to let the media cover all activities related to the World Cup.
The ban on the media coverage has seriously impacted the promotion of the tournament. Former internationals have also complained about the lack of information on the teams participating and were critical of the FIH and HI for handling such a mega event in such an unprofessional way.
One Olympian not wanting to be named said the accreditation excuse is too lame to keep the media out of bounds.