Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Those who killed hockey

Amby Valley, I think you remember this name. Each player of the cricket team was given a house(flat) when they lost the final against Australia in 2003. Yes Amby Valley is a project by Sahara Parivar, sponsors of Indian cricket and hockey team. But do you know that Sahara's Chairman Mr. Subroto Roy is an ardent hockey fan. When his company decided to enter sports sponsorship, it first came to hockey. It was in early 1995. They sponsored the eighth Indira Gandhi International Gold Cup hockey that year. Besides India, England, Australia, Malaysia, South Korea and Poland were in the fray.
Not just sponsorship was it. It was all time big, a grand affair. They ran an ad campaign to popularize the event. Leading cinema stars Shah Ruk Khan, Amir Khan, Chuhi Chawla and others were roped in, and the 15 to 30 second commercials featuring them were hits during the live telecast of the tournament. `Love India, Love Hockey’ was another of their campaigns. Stickers and posters carrying this message was all over Delhi. Very big posters, hoardings filled the important landmarks.

And, significantly, Sahara purchased five Maruti Esteeem Air-conditioned luxury cars and displayed it on the verdure of the National Stadium. The cars were to be presented to each Player of the Final, Player of the Tournament, best goal-keeper, top scorer and winning coach. Hockey never had it so good.

To create problem in this good tournament or we can say one of the best in India till that date was, the treasurer of FIH was opposed to giving up the individual prizes to the players. Mr Subrato Roy asked him can't a individuals doing well in the tournament be given awards. FIH treasurer said NO it can't be given. As a result Mr. Roy left the stadium and did not even come to watch the finals.

We blame only Indian Federation for killing the sport, it is often said that one cannot clap with a one hand. You need two hands for that. The approach of FIH was not also good. I believe that regular change in rules is not for betterment of the game, but to cause problems for poor Asian teams. India and Pakistan are supposed to be powerhouse in hockey and their performance did not dip overnight. We were the rulers of the game, but in later stages whenever one of the two teams were doing good, the rules were changed to suit the Europeans. Things like introduction of synthetic turf and many other things caused these poor federations of Asia to suffer.

We can win only if its a fair game being played all around. Its time to do a cricket, show them Indian way of doing things. Show them money that we can spend on everything. All is fair and love and war and I consider this a war against FIH


  1. yes it was result of so many people's effort...they did it ..INDIAN HOCKEY RUINED by them.:(

  2. Mr. Roy would have done a lot for Indian hockey. But Indian hockey is being ruined be both internal and external factors.... Its a fight on two fronts simultaneously.