The International Hockey Federation (FIH) was red-faced on Wednesday following a strong protest by angry mediapersons who opposed the ban on them to cover the build-up to the hockey World Cup starting on February 28.
The media was banned from covering the teams' practice sessions and matches in preparation for the World Cup and was prevented from entering the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, the venue for the event, ostensibly on security grounds.
At a function organised to announce the partnership of Karbonn Mobiles with the World Cup, mediapersons were vociferous in their protest when FIH Communication Manager Arjen Meijer came on to the stage to speak.
The scribes boycotted the FIH representative's address and staged a walkout shouting “we are not criminals.”
Later, Mr. Meijer said the FIH was not responsible for banning the media. “It is not FIH. We are on your side. I am very sorry about that. I am a journalist myself and I know you have to do your work,” he said. Mr. Meijer said he would try to help the mediapersons.