“We told them we have around Rs 30 lakh and are ready to distribute Rs 20 lakh of this,” added Mattoo. “They said they need some written assurance on that. We can’t give it as we are an ad hoc body.” He said HI had thus decided to give the players 48 hours to join camp. “If they don’t return, we will suspend it and re-assemble with new players.”
HI officials are attempting to turn the fracas into a ‘cash versus country’ issue. “We asked them what is more important, ‘the honour of representing your country or money’ and they said money. This is the most unfortunate day in Indian sports,” he said.