Sunday, April 10, 2011

Urgently Required : Hockey Players Association

In Indian hockey, it is very common to see players being ill-treated, be it current players or the former players. People/Media only listen when the players go on a revolt, that too only for some days, but there is no one for the constant support of the players. Hockey players go through many problems in their playing career like non-payment of their dues (match fees & winnings) to being thrown out of the team for not being coach's favorite (Sandeep Singh was not taken to Chile by the coach due to differences). The players continue to suffer even after their playing days are over (I don't think that hockey players get pension after their playing days are over).


In the constant war between the two boards who are just interested in looking after their own interest one party which is very important to hockey has been left behind, the players. I think it is clear that no one is going to stand for the interests of the players, so now it is up to players to look after their own interests. Current and former players should come together and form an association or a union which will look after the interest of current and former players. And to take an idea for the association they do not have to go too far, just look at FPAI (Football Players Association India) and form an association.

FPAI was formed to act as a single representative of football players in India and taking care of various needs of the players. Indian hockey needs one such group where needs of all the professional players are taken care of.

With the formation of players association, one of the major problems that the players are facing can be solved, player contracts. No player has been given contracts by the federation, I don' think that they even intend to do. But, with players association standing for the players, current players would get contracts and get better salary as compared to what they are getting now and the federation won't be able to 'delay' the money due to the players.

Players association are formed for the benefits of the players, not only monetary but also giving them education in beyond the field. Apart from these major activities, players association also provide motivation to the players. For example, FPAI gives awards to the players (PFA in BPL do the same), gives consultancy to the players on anti-doping, it advices the players on injuries and rehabilitation, arranging tours to gain better exposure, exhibition matches for the promotion of the game as well as players.

This is just for the current players, former players can be given coaching programs, training for management roles in hockey teams all over India and the World (also in leagues, if there will be one in India), giving the former players pension and other financial help to the players.

Players association provides a great advantage to the players, from money to health, these players association take care of everything. Our cricket players also earn a great amount of money, and player contracts have a major part in this. Hockey players in India should come out with the player association and work for the hockey players who are constantly ignored by everyone.

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