Stranded Indian hockey team blames SAI for missing flight

Updated: Jul 23, 2009, 20:49 PM IST

New Delhi: The Indian hockey team blamed Sports Authority of India (SAI) officials for the fiasco that saw them missing a flight in Pune and reaching the capital late for the logo unveiling ceremony of the newly-formed national federation.

After a five-week preparatory camp ahead of their Europe tour, the players were supposed to reach the capital in the morning for the ceremony.

They, however, missed the flight in Pune, which prompted Hockey India to reschedule the ceremony here three hours behind the original schedule and the players eventually made it to the venue.

Coach Harendra Singh laid the blame squarely on SAI officials, who, he alleged, did not send pick-up vehicles on time at the training centre in Balewadi, Pune.

"The whole incident happened because of one or two SAI officials," Harendra said.

"Last night I personally called up SAI and they confirmed that they will be sending two buses for the team`s travel to the airport. Instead, they later sent two smaller vehicles with limited sitting capacity and that too came late," he said.

The team also accused the airlines of misbehaving with the players at the airport when they requested to be accommodated in their scheduled flight.

Bureau Report