Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan aka Chak De India's Kabir Khan feels awful for Indian hockey players revolting against the establishment for their unpaid dues and has tweeted his disgust at the latest crisis to rock the national sport.
Khan, widely praised for bringing the pathetic state of Indian hockey into limelight with his portrayal of a disgraced player who goes on to become a celebrated coach in the 2007 blockbuster 'Chak De India', supported the revolting players in his latest tweet.
“(I) feel awful for the Indian hockey team. To play for the country...national sport and have to ask for salary and we complain we don't win gold (medals),” Khan, who himself was a hockey player before becoming an actor, said on his 'Twitter' page.
Indian hockey has plunged into a crisis with players boycotting the ongoing World Cup preparatory camp in Pune for an indefinite period in protest against non-payment of their dues.
The players took the unprecedented step to stay away from the camp after Hockey India, the interim body which is governing the game in the country, failed to resolve the payment dispute despite the players submitting two letters.
“We have decided to boycott the camp indefinitely till we are paid our money. We took such a decision in a meeting of players last night,” captain Rajpal Singh has said. “Earlier we used to be paid after every tournament but it is not the case now. We had reminded the Hocker India (HI) officials a few times, but nothing has been done. We will now report to the camp only after we are paid.”
Movie baron Pritish Nandy too is upset with the way the players are being treated. “I feel sad for our hockey players. India has won eight Olympic golds and one World Cup in hockey and we now treat them as beggars,” he said.
The revolt comes barely six weeks before the hockey World Cup in New Delhi and is bound to have a bearing on the preparations for the event from February 28.