Pune: The biggest crisis to hit Indian hockey was resolved after a compromise deal was worked out on Wednesday between the game’s administrators and striking players, who were promised an immediate disbursement of Rs. 1 crore.

Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi brokered the deal, which envisaged a long-term plan to meet the players’ financial demands. This convinced them to rejoin the World Cup preparatory camp, which has been stalled for the past five days over the payment dispute. Mr. Kalmadi, who flew in here to negotiate with the protesting players, said a full settlement had been reached but did not specify how he intended meeting all their demands.

“Hockey has been our national game. It can never be a national shame. It will be our national pride. The players all feel that they want to bring up Indian hockey. I assured them of full support,” he told a press conference later.

Mr. Kalmadi, who is also Chairman of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, said Rs. 1 crore given by sponsors Sahara India would be disbursed among the players within a week and all other issues settled in due course. The settlement of the crisis, which has been dogging Indian hockey for some time, paves way for the players to rejoin the camp from Thursday. — PTI

Special Correspondent adds from Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has offered Rs. 5 crore to the Indian hockey team to enable it to participate in the World Cup. She said the State government was willing to sponsor the team.

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