With issue of payment of dues to hockey players yet far from being solved, team sponsor Sahara has decided to release Rs one crore immediately for payment to striking players so that the crisis can be resolved.
“In the genuine interest of the national hockey players, Sahara India Pariwar has decided to pay immediately Rs 1 Crore in suspense account to Hockey India, only for distribution to the players so that they can peacefully and happily practice and play for the country,” Sahara said in a statement.
“Sahara has also paid Rs 77 lacs in December as advance for the quarter of January 15 to April 14, 2010. Sahara will go through the past accounts of Hockey India and shall take suitable decision for this amount,” it added.
Needlessly to say, Indian hockey plunged into one of its worst crisis last week when 22 players selected for World Cup boycotted preparatory camp at the Belawadi Sports Complex in Pune protesting against non-payment of dues.
After a meeting wit Hockey India officials, the players called off strike on Saturday, however, they decided to resume the strike again from Monday, for they were not contented with the assurances given.
The scenario turned uglier yesterday when the striking players walked out of negotiations with Hockey India, prompting the angry administrators to serve a fresh 48-hour ultimatum to the campers to resume training or get axed from the World Cup squad.
(Based on internet reports)