IHF denies hunger strike move by players; appeals for support

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Chennai, Sep 26 (UNI) Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) Secretary K Jyothikumaran today denied reports in a section of the media that Indian hockey players, who won the Asia Cup here last month, would go on a hunger strike protesting the 'step-motherly treatment' meted out to them by governments while the Twenty20 cricket World Cup winning cricketers were feted with rewards.

In a strongly worded statement here, he said national Chief Coach Joaquim Carvalho and manager R K Shetty got in touch with him soon after television channels ran stories of the hockey players planning for hunger strike and clarified that only players from Karnataka -- Vikram Kanth, V R Raghunath, S V Sunil and Ignace Tirkey --, coach Ramesh Parameswaran and Shetty had held discussions on these lines.

''Ninety per cent of the players who had represented India in the Asia Cup last month are in Germany playing the league there,'' Jyothikumaran pointed out.

He said IHF would like to appeal to the Indian Government, corporates and others concerned with and interested in sports to extend such support to hockey as extended to the Twenty20 World Cup winning Indian team.

''IHF recognises the Twenty20 World Cup win as a fantastic feat and a national achievement,'' he said, adding that at the same time, Indian hockey's Asia Cup win was no less a feat. The team had done it in front of thousands of hockey lovers, defeating top teams.

UNI

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