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IHF's cash incentive has hockey players in splits


Digvijay Singh Deo,CNN-IBN
Sep 06, 2007 at 06:05pm IST

Chennai: While there may be good news in cricket, in hockey it's a different ball game in many ways. The Indian hockey team stands to make a grand Rs 1,000 every time it pumps in a goal at the Asia Cup.

It was a 20-0 hammering of Sri Lanka by the Indian hockey team at the Asia Cup. Even though this wasn't top flight opposition, the victory margin could not be ignored.

And as the Indian team celebrated, there came a reportedly bizarre announcement from the IHF President KPS Gill: Rs 1,000 for every goal scored. That makes it a grand total of Rs 62 per player!

But it didn't end there. The team would be docked Rs 2,000 for every goal conceded.

"Are we expecting (captain) Dilip Tirkey to shout, 'Come back everyone otherwise we will be penalised with Rs 2,000 if we concede a goal'. Once you are on the field, you forget all of that. So I welcome such incentives for players, but not the right one," says former India player Jagbir Singh.

The Indian Hockey Federation is known to take rather strange decisions at times, but this one is beyond belief. For instance, if India with a 3-2 win in the finals of the Asia Cup means the players will actually lose money.

IHF secretary Jyothikumaran, though, says there has been no such decision.

"No. That is of course a part of the management's decision. Of course, it is not relevant as far as this tournament is concerned," he says.

The Indian players didn't want to come on record, and one can't blame them. The IHF, after all, does not take too kindly to players speaking out of turn. But, they tell CNN-IBN that this offer was discussed and they had a good laugh.

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