As the Indian hockey team began getting a feel of the National Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday, ruckus erupted outside the World Cup venue with authorities shunting out media on the pretext of security.
A lensman desperate to get a peek inside jumped the gates only to be caught by the policemen, a handful of journalists sneaked in through unguarded gates while the rest fumed in frustration. And all this while the hockey team practiced inside.
Incidentally, the stadium was inaugurated barely 10 days ago by Sports Minister M S Gill amid huge presence of media.
The facility was made on Wednesday available to the national team, which was until now preparing for the mega event at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune.
Even though majority of the assembled mediapersons were barred from entering the stadium through the main entrance, a few managed to get in through other gates but after protests from the stranded pack, they were also brought out.
Asked to explain the logic behind keeping the media out of practice sessions, Sports Authority of India (SAI) joint secretary Pravir Krishn said the decision to restrict scribes was taken keeping in mind security concerns during the February 28-March 13 event.
"Due to security and strategic reasons, the decision has been taken at the highest level not to allow media in training sessions. The restriction will not just be for the Indian team but for every visiting teams," Krishn said.
"Three, four people managed to get in but they were ejected later on," he said.
It has also been learnt that the official spokesperson of every team will brief the media on a weekly basis.