There has been much frustration for the Indian hockey team. The team’s camp that has been set to take place ahead of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games is set to begin on Wednesday in Delhi. Hockey India, however, has threatened to withdraw from the commonwealth and Asian Games.
The reason for the possible pullout is that Hockey India has requested additional funds from the government and has not received the requested increase. Up until now, the Indian government has allocated an amount of Rs 10.5 crore in order to cover the expenses of Hockey India. In the first six months of this year, the federation has exhausted almost all the funds that were allocated and is let with only Rs 31 lakh for the rest of the year.
Narinder Batra, the secretary general for Hockey India, wrote a letter to N Ramachandran, the Indian Olympic Association president to inform him that Hockey India would not be sending a team since the federation is simply unable to cover the costs if there are no additional funds allocated.
A letter from Batra to Sudhir Setia, the executive director of the Sports Authority of India read as follows: “Kindly advise what we should do, since it is not possible for us to send teams within Rs 31 lakh only for CWG. Shall we withdraw the teams from CWG if the Government of India does not have funds and what should we do for Asian Games 2014 and Champions Trophy 2014?”
Ajit Sharan, the secretary of sports commented: “The staying expenses during the Commonwealth and Asian Games are taken care of by the host nation whereas the taveling expenses are borne by the IOA. Where does Hockey India have to spend in this?”
Sharan also noted that each sports federation, including Hockey India, should “maintain the sanctity of budgets.”