Former India captain Pargat Singh on Monday criticised the organisation committee of the World Cup starting on February 28.

In an interaction with the media at the Punjab Bhawan here, Pargat expressed solidarity with the media and the hockey fans, both at the receiving end of the organisers.

“It is shocking that the media has no access to the stadium and the players. The hockey fans have no access to tickets for the tournament. I have never seen such shoddy organisation of any international event in India. No one ahs any control on the team. The players have shown open defiance,” he said.

“How can you stop the media from watching its own players? This is the national team and not someone’s personal team. No one knows from where to buy tickets to the matches. I want to bring 20 kids from out academies in Punjab to watchg the World Cup. But where are the tickets? This should have been the showcase event for us. I am worried for the Commonwealth Games which will be on a much, much larger scale.”

Pargat also made fun of the Hockey India (HI) for using the opportunity to “garner votes” for the pending elections. “They have asked us to give them our suit measurements so that we can be well attired at the World Cup.”

He expected the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to act fast. “The FIH has been too soft (on HI). Security is important but this is harassment. There is clear lack of vision and planning. Everyone is passing the buck. Hockey can be better off without all this. Afterall, this also involves hockey’s prestige and India’s prestige.”

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