Anurag Thakur blasts Hockey India for pull-out
Sports minister Anurag Thakur on Sunday criticised Hockey India for unilaterally deciding to pull out of next year’s Commonwealth Games, saying the national federation is bound to consult with the government before taking any such step.
Thakur said being the main financier of Olympic sports in the country the government has every right to take call on matters of national representation. “I think any federation should refrain from giving such statements and discuss with the government first because it’s the national team,” he said.
“In a country of 130 crore population, there are not just 18 players to represent the country. It (CWG) is a global event and I feel that they (Hockey India) should engage with the government and the concerned department. The decision will be taken by the government.”
Thakur’s strong statement came after Hockey India on Tuesday pulled out of next year’s Birmingham Commonwealth Games, citing Covid-19 concerns and UK’s discriminatory quarantine rules for travellers from the country.
HI also reasoned that there is only a 32-day window available between the Birmingham Games (July 28-August 8) and the Hangzhou Asian Games (September 10-25), which is a direct qualifier for 2024 Paris Olympics.