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Players Continue Strike, HI Threatens Suspension

PTI 11 Jan 2010, 16:31:55 PM IST

India's revolting hockey team continued its boycott of the World Cup preparatory camp over a payment dispute even as the game's dministrators toughened their stand, threatening to suspend the striking players. 

While the players went ahead with their threat to stay away from the camp until their dues and incentives were paid, Hockey India too made it clear that boycotting a national camp for pending payments was akin to blackmail. 

Frustrated with the turn of events, HI President A K Mattoo, who had only on Saturday night said that all issues had been resolved, threatened the players with suspension if they failed to report to the camp. 

"If you ask me it is an option. I can use it today, tomorrow or any other day but I feel they are being misled and wrongly advised. I don't want this to happen," Mattoo told reporters when asked if suspending the players is an option for Hockey India. 

"We have taken note of their issues and I have opened up about whatever (money) we have with us, which has never been done before. They know we do not have a sponsor. I see no reason why they have taken this route," he said.

On a day of high drama, the players stayed away from the camp, prompting the HI to send its representative Ikram Khan to negotiate with them. PTI