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Sahara steps in to end Indian hockey impasse

January 13, 2010 12:20 IST
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With no solution in sight to the payment dispute that has rocked Indian hockey, team sponsor Sahara on Wednesday sanctioned Rs one crore immediately, to be distributed only among the striking players in a bid to resolve the crisis.

"In the genuine interest of the national hockey players, Sahara India Pariwar has decided to pay immediately Rs 1 crore in suspense account to Hockey India, only for distribution to the players so that they can peacefully and happily practice and play for the country," read a statement from Sahara.

"Sahara has also paid Rs 77 lacs in December as advance for the quarter of January 15 to April 14, 2010. Sahara will go through the past accounts of Hockey India and shall take suitable decision for this amount," it added.

Indian hockey slumped to one of its worst crises ever when the 22 probables for World Cup stopped training at the Belawadi Sports Complex in Pune on Friday in protest against their pending financial dues and incentives.

The strike was, however, called off on Saturday after six players held a marathon meeting with HI officials.

But the truce didn't even last a day as the players decided resume their strike again on Monday as they were not satisfied with the assurances given by Hockey India.

The scenario turned uglier on Tuesday when the striking players walked out of negotiations with Hockey India, prompting the angry administrators to serve a fresh 48-hour ultimatum to the campers to resume training or get axed from the World Cup squad.

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