‘SAI players did not get their due in state hockey tourney’
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The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has raised objections pertaining to the State Junior Men's Hockey Tournament alleging that "SAI players did not get their due." The championship was conducted at Saifai, recently. Besides the teams from different regions, four teams from sports hostels and a sports college team played in the tournament.
The SAI players participated in the tournament through regional teams. 25 probables have been selected from the above tournament for a ten-day training camp before the final UP team is selected for the 'Hockey India Junior Men's Hockey Championship' to be held at Lucknow from September 1 to 9. Selection of probables for the India camp for the future junior international events like junior World Championships will be done during the championship. Hockey India has appointed Col. Balbir, Syed Ali and Thoiba Singh as three selectors for the event.
Uttar Pradesh, who failed to make it to the quarter-finals last year with one win and one loss, has been clubbed with Jharkhand and Delhi in Pool D.
The Uttar Pradesh Hockey officials claimed that SAI teams "could not have played in the state tournament since it was an inter-regional type of event." On the question of allowing four hostel and a sports college team to participate in the tournament, an Uttar Pradesh Hockey official said that the state government-run sports hostels teams participated in "the tournament as it was organised in association with the UP Sports Directorate whereas SAI is run by the central government."
Talking to The Indian Express, Regional Director SAI Rachana Govil said, "Why has SAI opened centres in Uttar Pradesh? We select the talented players. At Lucknow SAI sub-centre itself, majority of the players belong to UP. But what is the purpose of providing quality training when this promising trainees cannot play in tournaments which are basis for selecting the UP team and the players are compelled to take part in state tournaments only through regional teams?"
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