Shambolic lodging arrangements made for athletes participating in Men's National Hockey Championship
What’s the story?
In what could be termed as an instance of extreme apathy towards athletes who aren’t as famous as some of the selected few of the country, the hockey players who are participating in the 8th Senior Men's National Hockey Championship (Division B) in Imphal, Manipur have been given lodging facilities which are way below the desirable standard.
In case you didn’t know
The matches commenced in Imphal on Sunday and will continue till January 21. There are 33 teams which are participating in this competition and these are divided into eight pools.
The heart of the matter
Images of the poor conditions surfaced on the internet earlier today and brought the shameful scenario under the spotlight. It can be clearly seen that three to six beds have been forcefully arranged in the rooms which means the players have to adjust and stay with each other while being cramped up.
The washrooms are also not in great condition while there’s no proper place for the athletes to keep their luggage and clothes.
A player from Bengaluru, who is in Imphal for the competition said, "It is quite cold here and we require blankets and hot water. In such conditions, it is likely that we can fall sick as well."
He also pointed out that in previous editions of the competition, this issue did not arise. "When we had played other national tournaments earlier, we were provided all the facilities."
Hockey India have responded to the development and have sent a team of officials to take stock of the situation. A source close to the organization informed Sportskeeda, "Since HI came to know of the situation, a number of officials, including CEO Elena Norman, have gone to the venue. They are working on getting the facilities improved and an official statement from Hockey India is also expected very soon."
The tournament has already commenced and the hockey players, like always, have accepted what is given to them. While adjusting with this shambolic arrangement, the stick wizards will have to finish the event and return to their respective bases.
On one hand, when the cricketers of the nation get the best of facilities, athletes from other sporting fraternities still bear the brunt of utter mismanagement.
It’s true that BCCI as a unit is financially superior to other federations of the country and thus they are able to provide their players, from all levels, the best facilities, but that doesn’t mean national level hockey players have to face the same situation everytime they participate in these kinds of tournaments.