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Bad replies of Hockey Officials spoil a sponsor's (2/20/2010)
--s2h Team
Bad replies of Hockey Officials spoil a sponsor's show

Hockey India acting chief Vidya Stokes had a tough time at a press conference meant to announce sponser for the Hero Honda FIH World Cup here today as it turned out to be a virtually slanging match between her and agitated mediapersons.

The press meet in a five star hotel was organized by ING Vysya Insurance to announce their parnership with the World Cup, but their well intended effort -- to organize India level awareness programs in particular -- got drowned in the media frenzy.

It happened yesterday, and it is learnt today the partner in the world cup have decided to leave all the program they planned in view of the poor coverage they got in the media.

Unfortunately, the Hockey India organized another press conference on the same day, with Sahara supremo in attendence to wish the team good luck. This meet in particular had its imprint on the next day media, leaving the Insurance company in limbo

Now the details

The mediapersons wanted to know why they are not being allowed to cover the practice session of the Indian Hockey team at the Dhyan Chand Stadium. ''Why this secrecy, why are journalist not being allowed to cover the team practise at the stadium,'' asked the reporters.

Stokes said even she is not allowed to go to the stadium because of the security reasons and, ''I can not overrule the security.'' ''We have been given guidelines which we have to follow and one of them prohibits visit to the stadium as of now,'' she added. This answer added fule to fire as reporters wanted to know who has issued these orders. ''Tell us who has issued these instructions, is it Home Ministry or Sports Ministry or Delhi Police?'' ''I can't name the officials or ministry, nor I can show you the guidelines,'' she replied.

This further infuriated the journalists who shouted back that they are also equally concerned about security but wanted to know ''who controls the Hockey affairs in the country at present''. ''Why can't journalists be taken in batches to the stadium at a particular time to watch the team practice,'' they asked. ''This is not in my hand,'' replied Stokes and press conference came to an abrupt end. Earlier, Stokes was asked why ad hoc HI has set up a gradation committee when it is not an elected body.

''Well we can not leave hockey affairs in limbo till the elections,'' she retorted but added, ''In any case we will be deciding after the elections also.'' This created an uproar with journalists asking how she was sure that her group will win the elections. Stokes changed the track quickly saying, ''What I meant was that those who will take over after the elections will also have good of the game and players in their mind.

We just want to create a system which will enable the future office bearers to act upon them.'' Intrestingly, the press conference was called to announce ING Life becoming major partner to the Hero Honda FIH World Cup.

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