If the London Olympics debacle wasn’t enough a wake-up call Indian hockey, here’s another situation. The state teams participating in the nationals, organised by the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), have not been granted railway concessions.
According to railway authorities, all championships which are conducted by sports federations but are not recognised by the government (sports ministry), cannot avail of the benefit.
“There are guidelines and we go according to that. They state that sportsmen/women can avail of the concessions only if the championship is organised by the recognised associations and federations,” said a senior divisional commercial manager of Pune railway division, Alok Badkul.
Two girls’ U-20 teams left for the competition to be held in Hyderabad from January 10 onwards, wihout any railway concessions whatsover.
“Unfortunately and incidentally, IHF, which is a four-decade-old federation, is organising events and the players are not given any benefits,” Sridharan Tamba, an official of the Pune District Hockey Association told DNA, while the two teams left for Hyderabad by train on Tuesday.
The Maharashtra Hockey Association (MHA), which is also fielding a team for the championship, is suffering the same fate. “This is an opportunity for the youngsters and with the infighting, the players are suffering,” said Ikram Khan, MHA secretary.