Missing the spirit at Hockey World Cup | india | Hindustan Times
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Missing the spirit at Hockey World Cup

india Updated: Feb 23, 2010 00:28 IST
Shubhodeep Chakravarty

The world might be coming in for a party, but the Indian government is having none of it.

India, which will host the Commonwealth Games in October and is hoping to bid for the 2020 Olympics, is banning beer at the Hockey World Cup, starting Sunday.

A meeting earlier this month between the government and organisers had this directive: “No liquor will be served in the venue.”

The Major Dhyanchand National Stadium, the Cup venue, is owned and operated by the Sports Authority of India. “Let matches be the proper intoxicant, not alcohol,” a top official of the Sports Ministry told HT. “We cannot let people compromise the sanctity and security of the stadium.”

“It’s just archaic and narrow-minded,” an organiser told HT. “We’re not talking about hard liquor here and beer is part of sporting culture worldwide. If they allow alcohol at DDCA, why not at the National Stadium?”

All 43 corporate boxes at the Ferozeshah Kotla serve alcohol during cricket matches. The DDCA has permission and licenses for the same. In Mohali and other cricket stadiums, beer is available in the stands and beer-induced riots have never been witnessed yet.