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No pay, hockey team rebels

Twenty-two senior players of the Indian hockey team on Friday refused to take the field for practice demanding payment of dues. Hockey India, which runs the game in India, owes each player Rs 25,000 for matches and tournaments played by them.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2010 01:40 IST
B. Shrikant

Twenty-two senior players of the Indian hockey team on Friday refused to take the field for practice demanding payment of dues.

Hockey India, which runs the game in India, owes each player Rs 25,000 for matches and tournaments played by them.

The players are at a camp in Pune training for the World Cup in February. “We’ve decided not to practice till we get the money,” said captain Rajpal Singh.

This is the first strike-like situation in a game held as the national sport of India.

The players said they wrote to Hockey India about their dues on November 23 before leaving for the Champions Challenge I in Salta, Argentina. They returned with a bronze, but there was still no sign of their money.

They wrote once again before the Pune camp. They haven’t heard from the administrators.

“We are not going to beg for an amount like Rs 25,000 that we should’ve got before leaving for Salta,” said striker Prabhjot Singh, the only Indian in the 2009 all-star International Hockey Federation team.

Hockey India said it was not aware of any trouble. “I’m not aware what was promised to them,” said its chief A.K. Mattoo. “I’ve called some players tomorrow. We will take a decision after we get to know what they want.”

The players said they are not budging for the moment.