'FIH can't interfere in World Series Hockey'
Former India coach Harendra Singh said the world body has no right to interfere in a domestic tournament.
New Delhi: Criticising the FIH (International Hockey Federation) for working with Hockey India (HI) to stop players from participating in the World Series Hockey (WSH), former India coach Harendra Singh said the world body has no right to interfere in a domestic tournament.
Harendra, who has been named as the coach of the Chandigarh team in the upcoming multi-city franchise-based tournament, feels that the need of the hour for erstwhile champions India is to form a strong domestic set up if they desire to regain their past glory.
"WSH is going to change the scenario of India hockey.
Its impact on Indian hockey will be immense. It is going to promote Indian hockey in a big way. The general public is very excited about the tournament," he told PTI in an interview.
"But unfortunately, some people don't want it to be a success. WSH is a local tournament, so I don't know from where FIH comes in the picture. The FIH doesn't have any authority to dictate terms on a domestic league," Harendra said.
FIH and HI have threatened sanctions on players participating in WSH, a joint initiative of Nimbus Sport and the rival Indian Hockey Federation.
The HI went a step further and said if any Indian player skips the national camp and takes part in the unsanctioned event, he will not be considered for selection in the national team for next year's Olympic qualifiers at home.
"All the players participating in the WSH are professionals and not amateurs. They know how to adjust to different combination and situations. Adaptation is the most important thing for them," said Harendra, who will have Pakistan striker Rehan Butt as captain of the Chandigarh side.
"To add to that, playing in match situation will be far more beneficial for the players than attending camps ahead of the Olympic qualifiers."
Harendra is also delighted to be associated with the Chandigarh outfit and said while choosing players through the draft system tomorrow, he will look for both youth and experience.
"Punjab is the mecca of Indian hockey and I am really excited to be part of the team. Over that, Rehan is world renowned figure and it will be exciting to work with him," he said.
"While selecting the team, I will definitely go for a mixture of youth and experience. I will give equal emphasis to foreign as well as local players," Harendra said.