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Why TD should be from a neutral country? (3/2/2010)
--K. Arumugam
Secretary General of the Federation Internationale de Hockey (FIH) is Peter Cohen.

Tournament Director of the 2010 Hero Honda World Cup is one Ken Read

Both are from Australia.

Australia lost to England on Sunday

Australia’s next match is against India on Tuesday

Recent Olympic Results of India and Australia:

2000 Olympics: India 2 Australia 2

2004 Olympics: India 0 Australia 1

Recent World Cup result of India and Australia 2002 World Cup: India 3 Australia 4.

India may have lost to Australia with big margin in all small (chhota mota) tournaments, but took their sweat on big stage such as World Cup and Olympics. This is what the stat above confirm.

On Sunday Australia loses the match, within 18 hours India’s star forward is suspended for next three matches by the Australian Ken Read. He has all the legitimate powers with him to do this.

Whatever happens in the appeal, even if the suspension is revoked, Indians have already been psychologically done in, their euphoria of defeating tough Pakistan team went up in the smoke. Indian chief coach, an outsider from either India or Australia, has clearly said that he has not seen such harsh punishment to a player in his four-decade long association with hockey.

Whatever has been stated above are statistics and happenings which are incontrovertible.

Now, the moot point is, is there an Australian controversy to psyche India, in the same manner the Tournament Director of Chile Olympic Qualifier?

This is a feared field, but let us tread.

World over it has been agreed neutral umpire should be used for international matches. When this decision in major sports were taken, even for the bilateral series, questions were raised as to why to doubt the integrity of the umpires of all the persons.

One of the logic that went against this genuine sporting feeling was, even if a non-neutral umpire unintentionally does a mistake, it will be viewed as ‘biased’. So, the wisdom at large prevailed – leading sports which are concerned about image and profile of their baby went ahead and nodded for neutral umpire concept.

Having accepted this, and put in practice the concept of neutral umpires, why we then put a Tournament Director from one of the participating countries, that too the country which is strong favourite to win the title?

Now you view the whole scenario in a different perspective.

What was the major news that had been dominating Indian channels and newspapers in the last three months – its not my dear readers, Al Queda threat or Pak war, but the racial discrimination suffered by Indians at the hands of Australians.

There have been at least 180s cases of racial attacks on Indians on the Australian soils. Both Indian and Australian governments assured safety and security of Indians, and the latter in particular even launched a major PR exercise to dispel the bad image Australia was getting in India. Australian government tried to dispel such a image, quoting those are all not racial attacks but law and order problem, which the India media did not buy by and large.

Australia chose to nominate an Indian origin diplomat to do the firefighting, and he is all over the television channels here to safeguard the image and interest of his country.

Indian students contribute to about 30-40 percent of Australian universities’ revenue.

This is botboiler of a situation in India. Anything India-Australia is a sensitive issue nowadays, which is of course not desirable. Thank god the hockey is not cricket, and the right winger politicians are not aware of what happens in hockey – even now – in the context of on going India-Australia racial fire ups.

Otherwise the World Cup would have been up in the riotous situation, denting the image of hockey once for all.

Situation of similar nature can develop in any country, as the nations are more than normal nowadays.

The best therefore would be to select and post a Tournament Director from neutral country. One of the benefits of such step will be the assured image of FIH, and then it gives recognition to a nation that does not make it to the event.

There are other rumours – I repeat rumours – floating. Many of these rumour mongers float a theory that because the World Cup is a roaring success in terms of revenue it generated and such a success will give the new FIH president a grand leverage in the times to come, and also the president considers India his future hub of hockey. Therefore, breaking his image in India serves his rival group’s design. An Indian anger at this time will go against the commercial interests of the FIH. So, they point out, this is how a guile section wishes to corner the president and shatter his future dreams.

We don’t know who is doing what, and the last word on the issue is not said yet.

The best way, therefore, is not to give room for such things, and at least hereafter go for a neutral Tournament Director. Only that is at our hands.

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The is how we loose focus...
by Shashank G on 3/3/2010 10:08:48 AM
We, all the fans, have a weak point here. When a player gets suspended for whatever reasons, we focus too much on it. Not just media, all of us. That is where we loose focus. They can weaken India by suspending a key player but if the rest 15 put up their best show, I feel the fans will not have anything to crib about. However, if we keep thinking and talking about these things we are giving it much more attention than it deserves and that is where they want to hit us - taking our attention from the onfield game to off-field game.

This issue needs attention but only after that tournament and there are better ways to sort it out. The Indian governing body should think of putting in more Indians at the executive level of FIH. Once we representation there, these things will come down or else we will have keep loosing our focus when it matters the most.

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how do you define a 'neutral' TD?
by Shashank G on 3/3/2010 10:01:46 AM
Although I may agree to various things presented in this article but the demand of a neutral TD sounds unpractical. Out of top 14 ranked countries in the World, you have 12 playing the WC - Belgium and China are not there. Now the pool of officials will surely be from these countries. Also remember most experienced professionals will also come from these countries. Isn't it practically difficult to get a TD, who should be of top class experience and capability, from other countries where there is poor visibility of Hockey?
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appoint a neutral tournament director --sack the present director
by Rajinder Kumar on 3/2/2010 4:51:12 PM
the way present TD INSULTS OUR STAR .INDIAN HOCKEY FANS IF THEY REALLY LOVE INDIAN HOCKEY PROTEST STRONGLY AGAINST ALL THIS NONSENSE.
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SACK TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR FROM A PARTICIPATING COUNTARY
by Prof. Randhawa on 3/2/2010 1:28:36 PM
HOCKEY FANS BE UNITED WITH A DEMAND SACK TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR .
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Replies...

by hodi r on 3/2/2010 8:24:25 PM
why are we crying , Shiva did raise stick , why was he not given red card . Come on get over and beat aus bt 3 nothing