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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

National Shame !! Oopps Game

Team Being Cynical
On a second thought Mr.Matto (Hockey India Head) might not watch 3 Idiots in theaters as he is surrounded by at least 4 dozen of them, including himself. Starting from his deputy to the guy sitting in front of his cabin door and seen spitting every now and then. Mr.Matto is not the pioneer, I must say, but just a flag bearer who is trying his best to follow the tried and tested ways mentioned in the book written by his predecessors on How to mis-manage Indian Hockey Federation and carry on the legacy forward.

8 Olympic golds, 2 World championship, 6 Asian titles, 3 Azlan Shah cups, 4 Champion Trophies to name few doesn't seem quite enough for our sports ministry to take a serious note that how much our national game has contributed to the pride of the nation. But to surprise all the authorities concerned think the other way and keep on doing on what they are best at. Screwing up our national game from it's foundation. Once they are done with siphoning at least half the amount sanctioned for Commonwealth Game 2010, they got some time to look into some basic demands of our National hockey players, which the players were doing for last one week or so. Even if a permanent solution to the crisis is far fetched, but at least for the time being our national game was spared from some more embarrassment.

The agony of our hockey players came to the fore when one fine day during their training camp for the upcoming Hockey World cup, our players thought to give their hockey sticks the warmth of their respective kit bags and went ahead playing football instead. When being quizzed by our media on why there is a sudden affinity for succor, we came to know that our players who represent our national game haven't been paid for last one year. And when asked what it is needed to make them come back to hockey again, it was mere Rs. 25000/- per head they want.

Ahh just this much I thought and hoped the crisis would be over sooner, as our sports ministry can afford to waste few millions arranging a so called un-necessary flag off ceremony for Commonwealth Games-2010, in UK inviting the Queen and our President to preside over the function. Other dignitaries invited and the subsequent cost incurred for their travel is better be least spoken. To surprise all Mr.Matto showed his sorry face for the second time in as many days and told the gathered media that Hockey India even doesn't have enough money to address this minor demand of the players and hence the players are requested to get back to hockey and their demands would be looked up as and when some fund manages to cross the involved authorities pocket's to reach the associations official account. If the players do believe that the money just can't penetrate the pockets in question they better keep on playing succor and shouldn't blame the association if any unpleasant decision is taken in the so called best interest of the game. Our sports minister or IOC head Suresh Kalmadi were no where to be seen. Must be busy pocketing whatever remaining amount of the CWG preparatory fund remaining.

When all were at the verge of frustration and after two failed meetings between players and association, the main sponsors of the team Sahara India thought, it's enough. If not for the players but for the sake of the national game they were ready to pay some amount only to be distributed among the players immediately. God knows how much the authorities payed to the players and how much they gulped down themselves to warm their respective bank accounts is only to be seen. I would suggest Sahara India to keep a tap on the expenditure claimed to be done by these crooks. This not for the game or players but for the health of Sahara India as a whole.

Few Individuals, organizations and some state governments also came forward offering their help. Surprise, surprise. Ms. Mayawati was first among the CMs to show her generosity. Just wondering if she is done with sorting out all problems of Dalits, which she claims is her motto in life. Go to any city, town, village of UP and then ask yourself, if you going to believe Ms. Mayawati's generous offer of lending financial support to Indian Hockey team. When the lady herself looks no beyond than the vote banks, by-passing the oppressed, on whose votes she is in power, forget about her being genuinely concerned for a bunch of players.

As the hockey world cup is round the corner I am relieved to know that, by somehow the controversy is being settled down. But I must say the problem is far from over. If concrete steps are not taken then this is going to snowball into a bigger mesh sooner or later. Hope the guys who are so called administering the affairs of Hockey in general look at our national game with a serious vision and I also hope Ms. Mayawati doesn't spends few more crores of Tax Payer's money in making her statues across UP, this time, with a hockey stick instead of the purse in her hand, and giving her lip service towards hockey as an excuse for her latest set of statues.

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