Sports Reporter

NEW DELHI: Announcing Rs. one crore for the National hockey players, Sahara India Pariwar on Wednesday made it clear that there was no individual contract with the players, and Hockey India (HI) was telling the truth regarding payment of sponsorship money.

“It is a team sponsorship. We cannot have individual sponsorship. The money is spent is at HI’s discretion. We believe they utilise it for the well-being and promotion of hockey, but we do not interfere,” the Head of Corporate Communications Abhijit Sarkar told The Hindu.

In the morning, Sahara announced that it would “pay immediately Rs. one crore in suspense account of HI, only for distribution to the players so that they can peacefully and happily practise and play for the country.”

Sarkar said the move was in the genuine interests of the players and a bid to end the crisis. “It will go to the players through the federation,” he said.

Sahara claimed that in December 2009 it had paid Rs 77 lakh to HI as advance for the quarter of January 15 to April 14. Sahara will go through the past accounts of HI and shall take suitable decision regarding this amount.

On the incentives announced by the company in the past, Sarkar said: “The incentives announced were not part of the contract. It was because of the generosity of our chairman Mr. Subroto Roy. The performance has also gone down even after the announcement of the incentives,” he said.

Sarkar said Sahara had made all the payments it had to HI and there was no dispute between the two parties.

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