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FIH bans Media: Cooking its own baby (2/23/2010)
--K. Arumugam
FIH's Media ban: Is FIH cooking its own baby, the World Cup?

So, its ultimately seems now the media is the biggest enemy of hockey in India, Hockey India (which banned chief coach from speaking), Sports Authority of India (which did not welcome them in the last fortnight) and now the great FIH too joins the bandwagon. It has enforced a blanket ban for media till 27th.

Rules are always different for Asians and others. This has been the truly well-established tradition of global governing body of field hockey sport, the Federation Internationale de Hockey.

You can quote any number of instances to prove this.

The latest in the order is, denying media for entry into the stadium for this week. That means till a day before the start of the World Cup media has to be away from seeing anything from their eyes.

This writer has covered quite a few World Cups. This has not happened anywhere. I have never come across an event for which the FIH ever banned media. It is its dubious first. I don't think FIH has grown to that extent it can think of 'banning media'. If they think so, they are over-estimating themselves.

The FIH has been accused of keeping hockey a low profile sport. For too long. Neither the sport is professional nor visible to public at large. Its due to poor perception of the sport by the FIH mandarins.

Only the other day Indian team’s sponsor Sahara group chairman Subrato Roy explained with pain how his idea of presenting 11 cars (six to foreign players and five to Indian players) were prevented by the FIH in 1995.

The tragedy in the 1995 Sahara fiasco was, the donor was ordered to take back the cars, neither players nor the game benefited out of such stone age ego. The FIH said its ok. The Indian Hockey Federation was spineless then.

'Only fools can administer the sport like this', this is what I felt that time. I was then a deputy to a journalist who was handling publicity for Indira Gandhi Gold Cup. We all felt very sad.

11 players of global community were deprived of the most valuable car of those times.

What happens now?

The same Sahara is the team sponsor. Hero Honda is the World Cup sponsor. You have then the SAIL as the presenting partner. ING Vysya is also pumping in money. Its almost Rs.20 Crore is at stake.

If the World Cup does not get proper publicity, who are the losers?

All these Indian companies, who pumped money into hockey, hoping to get the publicity mileage.

This time the FIH has taken the bulk of sponsorship money. That meant our money is in their pocket. Its simple as that.

Despite taking money, the FIH has not spent single pie for publicizing the event. Its only Hero Honda that has been spending hell lot of monies, putting ads on the channels well over a month, organizing school tournaments, releasing the Trophy in major cities.

It looks as if Hero Honda is the only organization responsible for this World Cup’s success.

We don’t know why the FIH chose a death trail for its own baby – I certainly feel ill-treatment.

It seems, after seeing so many television channels and a sea of press men in each press meet they organized, the FIH has become crazy it looks. They, it seems, don’t know what to do with mass media of this size.

Because they never handled so many of them in any of their activities.

They want to keep the sport a low profile, its their vision, but this pettiness comes at the cost of Indian companies’ purse. This worries us.

The FIH should remember they will never again have another sponsor if this type of trend continues. Because,the corporate world is watching as biggies like Hero Honda are pitching in the sports.

There are better, well established, popular sports in the world; they know how to handle press before such mega events.

There are thousand ways to manage, streamline, restrict media, but as of now the FIH is clueless.

Blanket ban for media is nothing short of blatant madness.

Certianly, the FIH is indulging in some sort of sadistic pleasure!

Hockey India is spinelss now, as was the IHF in 1995.

I was told the FIH has a media commission, is it correct? Where are they? Do they nod this FIH ban?

Note: This poor site took the World Cup seriously, and put three reporters to cover the run up to the World Cup. What will they do now? They will run away - from hockey!

Two rallies are to be taken out today at Amritsar and Mysore, both by journalists!!

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Firingis at it again
by prem judge on 2/24/2010 6:30:01 AM
Who is to be blamed for this "firingi invation" ? When you have a divided house with sturbon, selfcentred, "little people" trying to ruin the very reputation of "maa bharat" what do we expect? The firingi whom we got rid off after countless sacrifices are back dictating terms in your own back yard, what a shame, perhaps shame itself has taken flight to some fringi land. What a great opportunity lost to showcase progresss, power and most of all "desi pride". Yet the heart still pines and hopes that at least the "boys" will redeem some of the pride back least it be added to the list of stolen gems?