It's been nearly eight months since the Indian hockey team defeated Pakistan in a World Cup match in New Delhi, but the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has not yet distributed the Rs one lakh sum promised to each of the 18 members after that victory.
On February 28, after India defeated the archrivals 4-1 in their World Cup match, IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi had publicly announced a cash prize of Rs one lakh each and Sahara group promised Rs two lakh each.
Though Sahara distributed the money while the event was on, the IOA is yet to distribute the money. "We got a call from Sahara asking for our account numbers and on the very next day the money was transferred. But there has been no communication from the IOA," said a player, who was part of the World Cup team and the silver medal-winning the Games squad. "It's not the question of money, but one should keep his promise," he said.
"They only want to grab media attention. For them, fulfilling commitments has no value," said another player. "Kalmadi witnessed almost all the matched India played in the Commonwealth Games but still could not remember his promise, not even after we blanked out Pakistan and then beat a fighting England in penalty-shoot to secure a place in the final (against Australia)," said another team member.
IOA director, ASV Prasad said, "I am not the right person to comment on this issue. It's better you speak to Suresh Kalmadi or Randhir Singh."
Both Kalmadi and Randhir could not be contacted despite repeated calls.
It was Kalmadi who broke the deadlock between striking players and Hockey India over the payment of dues weeks before the start of the World Cup.