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Indian Players Reject Hockey India Cash Award

Wednesday, 14 September 2011, 11:17 Hrs
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New Delhi: Indian players have rejected the 25,000 cash award given to them by Hockey India (HI) for winning the inaugural edition of the Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos, China, saying it was inadequate.

Indian captain Rajpal Singh said that it was disappointing and such awards won't attact youngsters to take up the national sport. After rejecting the cash reward, Rajpal Singh had told a TV news channel that his team was disappointed by the hollow claims of Sports Minister Ajay Maken to revive the sport in the country.

"The federation has failed to meet our expectations. This is not the way to treat the national players. The money should be better not just for the motivation of the current crop of players but for the future generations who'd like to take up the national sport," Rajpal said.

A top HI official told IANS on condition of anonymity that the cash-strapped federation did its best to award the players.

"We have no funds. We agree 25,000 is too small. But what can we do, we have no funds. We don't have enough sponsors," the official said.

Another senior player, Gurbaz Singh, said that players have outrightly rejected the cash award as it was a pittance.

"We were offered 25,000 each by HI secretary general Narinder Batra as reward for winning the Asian Champions Trophy but we all refused to take it because it a very small reward considering our achievement," he said.

Gurbaz said such awards will not encourage the players.

"We did not expect such a small amount as reward, considering the fact that hockey is our national game. If such things continue, there will be a day when there will be very few youngsters interested in playing hockey. They would rather opt for cricket or any other individual sport," he said.

India won the Asian Champions Trophy by defeating arch-rivals Pakistan 4-2 via shoot out in the final.
Source: IANS
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