Perhaps, for the first time, the appalling performance of the Indian team in the Azlan Shah Cup has sent the Hockey India (HI) officials into a huddle.
The fact that a brainstorming session - lasting several hours on Tuesday to evaluate the performance of the national team as well as the support staff - took place is enough indication that the fear of missing the 2012 London berth has started creeping in.
While the support staff, including national coach Harendra Singh, presented their side of the story, what was interesting was that rather than taking responsibility for the debacle, each preferred to pass on the buck.
Officials attending the meeting also talked in muffled tones about the structural weakness in the system that could make the Indian team miss the Olympic Games.
One of the officials attending the meeting said if fitness were an issue, it would be next to impossible to improve it in such a short span. "High levels of competitive fitness to play in international tournaments can't be achieved overnight," said the official on condition of anonymity. He felt that the Indian team was running short of time to achieve Olympic qualification, adding that a sudden overload would do more harm than good to the players.
HI secretary-general Narinder Batra though looked composed, said the meeting was just a post-mortem of the team's Azlan Shah performance and that Olympic qualification was not discussed. But with the Olympic qualifiers round the corner, it's unlikely that the issue wouldn't have cropped up.