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Media walks out of FIH president's press conferenc (2/27/2010)
--K. Arumugam
India media walks out of FIH president's press conference

In a rather unusual and undesirable development, large section of Indian media today walked out of FIH president Leandro Negre’s press conference in a polite manner.

As soon as the FIH president started his press briefing, a senior journalist of international agency stood up and expressed the problem facing the media.

"Am from an international agency. My reporters from Pakistan could not cover the practice matches of Pakistan team. I have covered many World Cups and media never faced such hardships. I am sorry but we are going through an ordeal. This is my personal perspectives of ordeal we are going through". .

As soon as he finished these lines, most of the Indian press including television channels politely stood up and walked out of the venue in the The Lalit hotel, which is also media hotel of the tournament. A couple of Pakistan journalists too joined the walk out.

Only last Wednesday, the Indian media shouted out FIH media manager Arjen Meijer, demanding delay in getting accreditation and the ban imposed by the World Cup Technical Director Ken Read.

However, as on date, the FIH did not come out with any assuaging official message.

That time the protest was vociferous and the commotion lasted for almost half an hour. Today, it was different. After the journalists walked out, the press conference went off with only foreign journalists in attendance.

Surprisingly, today also there was not even a single representative of Hockey India was there, perhaps they on the run from the media.

After the senior journalists intervened, Leondra Negre opened his speech with an apology, but not much could be heard beyond this as the walk out process commenced by then.

World Cup involves organization on many fronts. Except the media hassles, other things are moving fast, and going smooth. Teams are practicing, some teams even had a shopping and site seeing the other day.

Yesterday night the sponsors Hero Honda threw a grand dinner. In the morning, a photo shoot was organized at the Gate way of India with all captains in the attendance.

In the noon, players from three countries took turn and interacted with the media.

People are now getting the tickets, and many fans from distant Pondicherry and Rourkela have reached Delhi.

Journalists from across many countries such as England and Germany are already here, in addition to Pakistan, who also distributed a pamphlet for media purposes.

Strictly speaking there should be any problem for anybody once the accreditation cards are issued but the media again had trouble to the go the stadium yesterday.

There is no idea whether they will be allowed today also, which resulted in the unsavoury incident. For the record, Negre has been well received by media in al the press conferences he had so far in India.

The FIH should keep this legacy in mind.

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