The 80 glorious years of Indian hockey faced its most shameful moments when India faced a 2-0 defeat from Britain in the qualifying match of Olympics held in Santiago on Sunday night. For the first time in 80 years( since India’s debut at Olympics), the Indian blue jersey men wont be seen running around on the hockey grounds at the Beijing Olympics. NATIONAL GAME TURNS NATIONAL SHAME was found quoted on Hindustan Times newspaper the next morning. No one ever even thought that Indian hockey would have to face these dark days after having won 8 gold medals in Olympics since their debut.
Well, talking about the qualifiers, all the Indian supporters were full of joy when the international hockey federation (FIH) placed team India in a group with only Great Britain as a strong opponent. At that point, India’s place at Olympics seemed to be booked especially after winning the Asia cup. But against everyone’s thinking Indian hockey stumbled throughout the qualifiers. Who might have thought that a professional international team, who just won Asia cup, would play like some school boys running around aimlessly with hockey sticks? The story of poor conversion of penalty corners (short corner), lack of team chemistry and all those basic skills of hockey seemed to be missing with the Asia cup winners not only against Britain but also against all the teams.
The followers of the national game are decreasing day by day as people see more name and fame and of course money in cricket which is doing extremely well compared to hockey and this disastrous act by the players might result in loss of some more fans. But one cannot blame the players alone; the Indian hockey federation (IHF) should get this credit. When asked from IHF head, Mr. K.P.S. Gill, about what is going wrong, he quoted.”I WILL RESPOND TO THESE THINGS AT A LATER STAGE. WE DO NOT HAVE AN INSTANT COFFEE MACHINE THAT YOU CAN GET RESULTS INSTANTLY. IT TAKES TIME TO REGAIN YOUR POSITION. WE HAVE PUT THE PROCESS IN PLACE AND THE RESULTS WILL TAKE SOME TIME.” But one may ask from Mr. Gill, if he don’t have a instant coffee machine, then WHAT KIND OF MACHINE DO HE HAS THAT PRODUCED NO RESULTS IN PAST 15 YEARS OF HIS PRESIDENTSHIP.
Getting up early on the Monday morning, despite of the school in a few hours, and watching India playing (losing) on TV, against the will of my parents, was really heart breaking. As a fan, I don’t want any resignations or something, all I want is that now Indian hockey should take every step possible for the betterment of the game in India. I hope those glorious golden days of Indian hockey may come back in the coming years.