Four-nation tournament called off | india | Hindustan Times
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Four-nation tournament called off

india Updated: Jan 04, 2010 23:14 IST
HT Correspondent

Hockey India (HI) cancelled a four-nation event proposed as a warm-up for the FIH World Cup in New Delhi on Monday after failing to find support from foreign teams.

Hockey India wanted to host three top teams from among the 12 in the World Cup, from January 17, to test the facilities at the National Stadium in New Delhi.

Now, it is trying to organise a bilateral series to give India match practice before the World Cup. France is one of the countries being considered.

FIH (international hockey federation), the sport's apex body, has told HI that it cannot ensure participation of top nations because they won't be available during that period.

It's another matter that the FIH communicated this on December 9. The Netherlands agreed to a two-match series against Pakistan in Doha a few days later.

President A.K. Matoo didn't want to comment but another HI official said incomplete infrastructure at the National Stadium was why the meet was scrapped.

That charge was denied by a sports ministry official who instead said HI sent the proposal late.

"The stadium is on schedule. We have everything in place — the changing rooms are ready, the VIP lounge is in place as are the offices and toilets. Only some minor work on the turf is being carried out and that would be complete by January 12, the day we had promised to hand over the stadium to HI.

It is not correct on their part to blame incomplete infrastructure for the scrapping of the event," the official said on condition on anonymity.

"Hockey India sent the proposal in November and a reminder on December 7 to which FIH responded a day later, suggesting either a tournament between Indian teams or one involving international teams that have not qualified for the World Cup," the official said.