New Delhi: Hockey India Secretary General Narinder Batra on Monday took moral "responsibility" for the country`s early ouster from the Hero FIH Junior Men`s World Cup and apologised to the fans for letting them down.
India crashed out of the quarterfinal race of the ongoing World Cup after being held 3-3 by Korea in a must-win Pool C match at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, here last night.
The result meant that both India and Korea finished their pool engagements with four points apiece which was not enough for the home team to march forward.
The draw, however, was more than enough for the Koreans to progress to the knock-out stage along with pool toppers Netherlands as they have a better goal difference than the Indians.
"I personally take full responsibility for the dismal performance of Team India in Junior Men`s World Cup in Delhi in failing to qualify for the quarterfinals yesterday," Batra said in a text message.
"Kindly do not put any blame on the team, the coaching staff and the high performance team. I, as head of all operations in Hockey India, take full responsibility and apologise to the nation, all hockey lovers, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Authority of India for letting them down," he said.
India will now play Argentina in the 9-12 classification match tomorrow while Korea will take on Malaysia in the quarterfinals.