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    YouR De$i RaPPeR
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    Jun 2009
    Spain BCN (Barcelona)

    Default CWG Test event scrapped after FIH's disapproval

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    There is no respite for the beleaguered Hockey India (HI) and in its latest setback, the world governing body has refused to grant its approval for the Commonwealth Games (CWG) Test event, which was scheduled to be held here from January 13, and has now been cancelled.

    But unperturbed by the cancellation of the event, Hockey India (HI) is looking to arrange a Test series and is in talks with some of the countries, France being the front-runner to tour India next month just ahead of the World Cup.

    Hockey India (HI) President A K Mattoo today said the Test event was on schedule but the FIH did not approve it although, he did not reveal the actual cause.

    ''We had a Test event this month but it has been cancelled as the FIH did not approve it,'' Mattoo told reporters on the sidelines of the signing of an MoU between the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee and the Central Bank of India as the official banking partner today.

    ''We are planning to arrange for a Test series and are in talks with some of the countries. There are bright prospects that the series could be played with France.

    ''There are some defficiencies in the Indian team's game and the Test series will also help them to resolve those problems before the World Cup,'' he added.

    Dhyan Chand stadium, which under renovation for the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games this year, was to host the Test event but the venue is nowhere near its completion.

    With not even a month left for the Hockey India elections, the Hockey Punjab (PH) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal yesterday alleged corruption within the national body and claimed that HI has denied affiliation to the state body.

    However, Mattoo refuted the charges and allayed fears that such resistance will not come in between the Hockey India (HI) election which is scheduled for January 29.

    He also said that everyone will be asked to come on board and Hockey India will not deny affiliations to any of the state units.

    ''There is no conspiracy within the Hockey India and we are working through a proper system. Everybody is invited to work with us and we do have discussions while we grant affiliations to the state units.

    ''Our intention is that nobody should be left out. We are in a construction phase and ups and downs are bound to happen during such a phase.

    ''But elections will be held on time on January 29,'' Mattoo stressed.

    With the World Cup just round the corner, the Major Dhyan Chand stadium is behind schedule and the players have been deprived of some essential practice at the national capital which is to host the event that kicks off from February 28.

    The players are likely to shift their base from Pune, where they reassembled for the national camp, to the Capital later this month.


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