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2008 Azlan Shah Cup
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India is unimpressive (5/9/2008)
--K.Arumugam
On the day of the Azlan Shah hockey tournament after India lost the second match, this incident occurred. As the team was returning, a group of Indian supporters hurled choicest of language at the returning players. Our players were stunned they have been at the receiving end of hugely embarassing situation.

Those young boys were frustrated as India conceded five goals while it could manage only one goal against argentina. Like every other sports supporters, they are als hurt. India did not play well against Argentina, and we cannot dwell on those reasons right now even as the event is underway.

But in sports what counts is winning, not the drab statistics (we attacked more, we lost despite dominating) type of stfuf.

Last week in Kazan, Russia, I saw large number of Indian students coming to stadium and supporting the girls. They stood by the girls even as they played hardly to their potential.

But here the fans abuse the players.

IT is not the difference of country and people.

The students supported the girls unrelently because they got a life time of a chance to see a national team in their city.

But the Ipoh crowd is different in that they are seasoned watchers of the game, as they have been watching this tournament and other hockey events very keenly and closely.

That's why they could feel the difference between India and the rest.

Last year Pakistan finished sixth here, but are here back with a bang this time. They scored goals in regular interval against Pakistan and for a while it appeared the fight is between two inequals.

Having seen Pakistan in full flow in the match before India's encounter against Argentina, they were in fact expecting a similar fare from India, which was not there

That's why they were aggressive against th players.

Unfortunately, Indian team is mostly of young players and are preparing themselves for the forthcoming Junior Asia Cup. Strictly speaking, they should not have been here, but only the well-trained senior Indian team.

This is the same question an agitated ethnic Indian journalist asked in the press rooom: "whay always India bring a junior side?"

By doing all sort of avoidable things, we stand to lose on the sporting turfs

Will those who take decisions at top level know the type of trauma both the players and the supporting base go through when they lose the way they did in Ipoh on the second day - 1-5?

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