Tag: hockey world cup

India and football world cup

Football World Cup 2010 is going on. India is not one of the 32 countries participating in the World Cup. Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Holland, Honduras, Ivory Coast, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Korea, Paraguay, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay and USA are the participants.
India was a participant in Hockey World Cup 2010 and Cricket World Cup 2010 which had less than 32 teams. India was not able to make it to Football World Cup 2010. Why was India not good enough for football?
One view is that Indians are not strong enough for football. In cricket 5’4” tall batsman can hit a 7’ tall fast bowler for a six. In football stamina is needed.
That may be a reason but not the only reason. Hockey needs stamina and Indians were in hockey. FIFA rules are complex. We have three countries from Asia, five countries from South America, three countries from North America, twelve countries from Europe, seven from Africa and two from Australia and Oceania.
We see neighbouring countries participating in the World Cup. The twelve countries from Europe and five countries from South America are neighbours. USA and Mexico are neighbours. Algeria and Morocco are neighbours. North Korea and South Korea are neighbours. Ghana and Ivory Coast are neighbours. Cameroon and Nigeria are neighbours. Vast stretch of land from Poland to China is unrepresented.
FIFA plays with geography. Some countries that are part of Asia are considered part of Europe. Some countries not part of Asia are considered part of Asia. Considering Australia and New Zealand as part of Asia deprived two Asian countries of their chance to participate in the World Cup. One could have been India.
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India out of Hockey World Cup 2010

On 28/2/2010 when India defeated Pakistan 4-1 in a league match of Hockey World Cup 2010 there was hope that India will win the cup. After the match tournament director suspended Shivendra for three matches for injury to a Pakistani player. Shivendra had not received any red, yellow or green card from the referee. After appeal the suspension was reduced to two matches.
England had defeated Australia. Indians were hoping for a victory against Australia. Australia defeated India 5-2.
India faced Spain in the next match. Spain defeated India 5-2. Out of six penalty corners India converted one into goal.
After this India’s chances of proceeding to semi-final were slim. India had to win the next two matches. Depending on who defeated whom and goal difference India had a chance of proceeding to semi-final.
India faced England. England scored a goal in the first half and two in the second half. India scored two goals after that but failed to score more. India missed scoring a goal when 40 seconds were left. India lost 3-2.
Against Pakistan India had four penalty corners and converted three into goals. It did not have such success in other matches.
It is not clear why Adrian D’Souza did not play in matches against Pakistan and Spain. It seems it was because he was a spokesman when players were on strike.
Indian hockey was in the news for wrong reasons for most of January and February 2010. Men players were on strike. Women players protested wearing black armbands. There was controversy regarding captaincy of Hockey World Cup 2010. There was controversy about a promotional match.
It is no point saying our players played well but finishing was poor. Matches are won by goals scored and our players have to do better in scoring goals. All players apart from goalkeepers should have more practice in penalty corners and penalty strokes.

IPL and Pakistan

On 19 January 2010 during the IPL auction none of the 11 Pakistan players was picked up by any of the eight franchisee teams. This set off reactions in Pakistan.
Lalit Modi, IPL Commissioner, said teams did not select any Pakistan player and only one player from Australia was selected. Team owners said they were not convinced of the availability of Pakistani players for the entire season or they had some other players in mind and such things. It was clear it was decided beforehand not to bid for Pakistani players. Pakistani players had faced visa problems in December 2009. That was the foretaste of things to come. If Pakistani players were not to be selected they should not have been included in the list. Pakistani players were angry. Many Pakistanis were angry and considered it insult of Pakistan. Pakistan had won 2020 championship in 2009. Pakistan cancelled the visit of its parliamentary delegation to India. Pakistani sports minister spoke to India’s sports minister Mohinder Singh Gill who said IPL is a commercial enterprise and the government has nothing to do with it. Lalit Modi’s effigy was burnt in Pakistan.
The repercussions of not bidding for Pakistani players seem to affect many things other than cricket. There was talk of Pakistan boycotting Hockey World Cup in India but the idea was given up as it is a World Federation event. IPL telecast will not be allowed in Pakistan. There is demand to ban Indian films. Pakistan Kabaddi Federation cancelled India tour. Pakistan team was to play five matches in Inida.
Not many believe that the Government of India had nothing to do with the non-selection of Pakistani players. In 2009 Pakistan did not allow its players to play in IPL due to security reasons. If it had been announced before hand that Pakistani players will not be part of the auction due to security reasons it would not have been a problem. It could have been done in December by refusing visas. They were given visas after due date and were hopeful that they will be selected for IPL.
The controversy was avoidable. Care should be taken that such things do not happen in the future.
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