In a tight corner after the victorious Indian hockey team rejected it’s paltry cash reward, Hockey India today requested Sports Minister Ajay Maken to “announce a suitable reward” for the national side’s triumph in the Asian Champions Trophy.
The Indian hockey players outrightly rejected HI’s meagre cash reward of Rs 25,000 each for winning the just-concluded Asian event in Ordos, China, prompting the national body’s secretary general Narinder Batra to write to Maken for his intervention.
“Hockey India had announced cash reward of Rs 25,000 for each player and official of the hockey team which won the first Asian Champions Trophy. The players have refused to accept this amount as they find it very little in relation to their performance,” Batra wrote in his letter to Maken.
“We approach your ministry through your Hon’ble Goodself and request the ministry to announce a suitable reward for the players and officials which will help in motivating and build up the morale of the team.”
“We very humbly request for favourable consideration of our request,” he added.
HI’s announcement of Rs 25,000 as reward came in for sharp criticism from all quarters, with present and former players terming the gesture as “unacceptable and shocking“.
Interestingly, the sports minister later in the day clarified that there is already a government scheme under which each player was supposed to receive Rs 1.5 lakh each for winning the tournament.