After the acrimony and name-calling, truce has finally been called in Indian hockey.
On Wednesday, the active involvement of Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi and former player Dhanraj Pillay brokered peace.<b1>
But this may be temporary as the detailed list of demands submitted by the players involves a financial expenditure that may be impossible to bear for Hockey India, or whichever body comes to power after the February 7 poll that will decide who runs the sport in the country.
Apart from the Rs 1 crore to be disbursed immediately, the players want graded contracts, match fees, higher daily allowance and bonuses for winning.
“This amount works out to a few crores every day. We are bound by an exclusive contract with Sahara and can’t get away from it till April 2011,” said a Hockey India official on condition of anonymity. “It is very difficult to arrange such money for a sport like hockey. A lot of people are announcing huge sums now, when the issue is hot. They will not be there when the time to pay comes."
However, Kalmadi said the money would be arranged. “A lot of people have come forward to help. The government is also helping,” he said.