New Delhi: The lackadaisical attitude of the Haryana government has forced the Indian Hockey Federation-backed Federation Cup tournament to be shifted to the Capital out of the state, the organisers of the event said here on Saturday.
The Federation Cup, a premier domestic hockey tournament, was supposed to be hosted by the Haryana Hockey Association in Shahbad from July 23 to 28 but the unavailability of grounds have forced the organisers to shift the event to the newly-constructed Shivaji Stadium here.
"The unavailability of ground has compelled us to shift the tournament to Shivaji stadium. We approached the Chief Minister of Haryana twice in the last one month, but we didn`t get any favourable reply from him," said vice president of Hockey Association of Haryana (HAH), K K Verma.
"The department of Haryana Sports Government was requested to make available the Shahbad astroturf stadium for organising the event but unfortunately despite our persistent follow up with the government officials we did not receive the requisite from them," Verma said.
"We approached the Chief Minister and the Sports Ministry of Haryana on numerous occasions but that too did not yield any positive response and we were forced to call off the plan to host the tournament in Shahbad," he said.
"The IHF finally came to our rescue and decided to shift the venue to Delhi. It was lesson for us and IHF," he added.
IHF secretary general Ashok Mathur said that the episode was a "lesson" for them.
"WE repeatedly approached the Haryana government but failed to get a response from them till July 10. Since the dates of the tournament were fixed and all the teams have booked their tickets we were forced to change the venue," Mathur said.
The IHF and HAH have managed to rope in Alchemist group as the sponsor of the eight-team event to be held from July 23 to 28.
Eight teams -- reigning champions Karnataka, Mumbai, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Manipur will fight for4 the top honours.