“We have zeroed in as a window for men in May-end Asia Cup“Asian Hockey Chief Executive of the Federation (AFH) Tayyab Ikram Told TimesofIndia.com over the phone.
The top four teams in the Asia Cup also qualify for the 2022 World Cup, which will be played in Odisha next January. It will be held at two venues – Bhubaneswar and Rourkela.
TimesofIndia.com has learned that the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur is leading the race to host. However, Ikram declined to confirm anything except the fact that the three countries have offered to host the tournament.
“Three countries are interested (to host), but it would not be fair to comment further … The epidemic is also changing … but we hope to make an official announcement in the next two weeks.” Added during his brief conversation with TimesofIndia.com.
Narinder Batra ‘Concerned’ over India’s performance
Narinder Batra, president of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the Indian Olympic Association, has written a letter to the president. Hockey India (HI), “expressed serious concern over the way the Indian men’s hockey team has performed after finishing bronze medals at the Tokyo (Olympics) in Bangladesh and South Africa”.
(India’s Amit Rohidas in action against France in Pro League – Photo: Hockey India)
India had to be teased with a bronze medal Asian Champions Trophy Held in Dhaka, the team’s 2-5 defeat against France in the Pro League Away leg at Pochefstrum raised eyebrows.
“The way the team is performing is not at all acceptable and please see where the problems are at all levels,” Batra wrote in his address to HI President Gyanendra Ningombam, Secretary General Rajinder Singh and CEO Elena Norman.
“I will not accept Team India for mismanagement or mismanagement, such incompetence will have to make way. Please meet me as soon as possible with your findings,” he added.
(India wins bronze medal in Asian Champions Trophy – AFP photo)
While Batra may have written to HI in his capacity as head of the IOA, it remains to be seen whether FIH will object to him expressing concern for the performance of a particular nation when he is chair of the World Sports Organization.
Batra also met senior members of the Indian team – Captain Manpreet Singh, veteran goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and defender Harmanpreet Singh on Wednesday.
The players accompanied by assistant coach Shivendra Singh from Bhubaneswar national camp and scientific advisers Michelle Pemberton (men’s team) and Tareen Naidu (women’s team) went to meet Batra in Delhi.