HI deliberately advanced dates for Olympic camp: Harendra

Last Updated: Dec 01, 2011, 23:07 PM IST

New Delhi: Former India coach Harendra Singh on Thursday alleged that Hockey India has deliberately advanced the dates of national camp so that the itinerary of the World Series Hockey is jeopardized.

Harendra, who is coach of the Delhi WSH Franchise, said the national camp was to be origninally conducted from January 24 but it has been advanced to December 11 by Hockey India to upset plans of the cash-rich hockey league.

The former national coach also claimed that adopting pressure tactics, HI has threatened the players from playing in the WSH and even got their signatures on a blank paper.

As many as 12 Indian players have withdrawm from the WSH after initially committing to play in the league.

"I am indeed surprised to learn that the Olympic qualifier preparatory camp has now been pre-poned to 11th December. As head coach of the Indian hockey team, I was asked to release a schedule to all the players on 21st March, 2011 detailing the dates of the national camp.”

"The preparatory camp was logically scheduled for 24th January 2012, just before the Olympic Qualifiers (scheduled from 15th February)," Harendra said in a statement.

He said said that the organisers of the WSH had designed their schedule in a manner that the tournament would conclude by January 22 to ensure there was no clash with the Olympic Qualifier camp.

"Thus, it now seems like a deliberate attempt on the part of Hockey India to schedule a national camp to intentionally clash with World Series Hockey."

Harendra said Indian players are indeed keen on playing in the league but HI is not letting them.

"I have been told by various sources in the Indian team that the players are excited and looking forward to play in the inaugural edition of WSH. However they are being subjected to undue pressure and harassment and even made to sign on a blank paper with veiled threats of their possible ouster from the Indian national team," he said.

PTI