New Delhi/ Ludhiana, Mar 10 : Union Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar today said that he was hurt and disappointed over the Indian hockey team's defeat to Britain, which resulted in its disqualification from the Beijing Olympics in August.
"I am naturally disappointed that a team that has been a part of the Olympics since the past 80 years and even won gold medals. Today, we have reached a position where we cannot even send the team to Beijing and cannot make it to the Olympics." Aiyar said.
Former Olympic hockey player Hardeep Singh Grewal said: "The European teams have improved a lot. They know the modern techniques, are well acquainted with the new means, whereas in India, we are still playing on grass."
Grewal termed it a shameful defeat and expressed his lament over Indian players not being provided with proper infrastructure.
The defeat prompted hockey coach Joaquim Carvalho to resign along with his support staff.
Eight time gold medalists India, needed to win the six-team competition to qualify for the Beijing Olympics. They however, lost to Britain 0-2 on Sunday.
Britain had earlier beaten India 3-2 in the league phase.
The Indians blew away five penalty-corners in the match.