The International Hockey Federation (FIH) lashed out at India's [ Images ] boycotting players, saying they got their priorities all wrong.
FIH vice-president Antonio von Ondarza, also the world body's observer for Hockey India's elections, said staying away from a training camp before an important event like the World Cup was unheard of in the game's history.
"I came here yesterday and came to know about the players' strike from television. I am very sad at what is happening; this shouldn't have happened. This is completely unheard of in hockey circles," Ondarza, who was in Delhi [ Images ] to meet Hockey India officials and help them resolve the election issues, told reporters.
"We want India to comeback. India has been a traditional hockey nation in the world, and, for a player, wearing the India shirt should be his priority," he said.
He also said that with the World Cup round the corner, the players should not have taken such an extreme step which would only hamper India's preparations for the February 28-March 13 mega-event to be held in Delhi.
"Staying away from training is not the solution. World Cup is at the door; if they don't train it will only affect their results in the World Cup," Ondarza said.
Mewnahile, sources in Pune said Hockey India has shortlisted more 22 players and bluntly told the players to give in writing whether they would be attending the camp.
"The players were told that another squad had been prepared and those who wanted to continue playing should report to the camp. But the players refused to do so," the source said.
Chief coach Jose Brasa sought to steer clear of the controversy which has rocked preparations for the mega event, saying it was a matter between the players and Hockey India.
He, however, appealed for an early settlement of the issue.