Hockey camp to begin tomorrow after issue resolved

New Delhi: The tussle over the organization the national hockey camp ended today with Hockey India securing the permission of the Sports Ministry to conduct the camp in Bangalore from Tuesday.

Sports Ministry and Hockey India were engaged in a war of words over the organisation of the camp with HI accusing the former of denying permission.

The ministry, on its part, said that it was HI which had changed the dates of the camp in order to scuttle the World Series Hockey, an IHF initiative.

Hockey India Secretary Narinder Batra said the camp will begin tomorrow and the Ministry has also approved hockey`s Long Term Development Programme (LTDP) till Olympics.

"The camp will begin in Bangalore tomorrow. We have also got approval on LTDP from the Sports Ministry," Batra told reporters after a Steering Committee meeting of the Ministry.

The training camp was scheduled to start at the SAI centre in Bangalore from today but HI sources had said that the Sports Ministry had not yet approved it.

A Sports Ministry source then had stated that HI had decided to organise the first phase of the national camp, leading up to London Olympics, from March 13 to April 27.

"The previous plan was to have the camp in Bangalore from March 13 but Hockey India changed it with malafide intentions so that those Indian players who were with WSH do not join it," a Sports Ministry source said.

"After everything was finalised, it was Batra who wrote a letter to us just a day after India qualified for the Olympics that the national camp be allowed to begin from March 5 with the fringe players taking part in it," the source said.

"The 18 players who were part of the team which beat France in the final of the Olympic qualifiers were to join on March 15 and the camp was to start with the remaining 30 fringe players," the source had added.


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