FIH directs England to investigate HI's India-Pakistan fixing allegations

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FIH directs England to investigate HI's India-Pakistan fixing allegations

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SportsCafe Desk

07/08/2017

The International Hockey Federation has directed hosts England to probe into India's allegations of an attempt to fix their Hockey World League Semifinal clash against Pakistan. Hockey India filed an official complaint with FIH on July 5th who will release the report for the same in 2-3 months.

Hockey India questioned the timing of Sardar Singh's interrogation by Yorkshire Police in their complaint. Yorkshire Police had summoned the former Indian captain on the eve of their Hockey World League Semifinal match against Pakistan. The interrogation was in regards to a year-old sexual-assault case filed by an England international player of Indian origin.

In the letter sent to FIH CEO Jason McCracken, HI President Mariamma Koshy referred to the June 19th incident when Sardar was summoned to Leeds by the authorities acting on a complaint filed by a junior-level England player on June 17.

"The FIH is seriously looking into India's complaint. We will follow the standard protocol and ask the host nation - England Hockey - to probe the case with the help of the local law enforcement agencies," an FIH official told PTI on condition of anonymity.

"We expect the report of the investigation to be out in next 2-3 months," he added.

Jugraj Singh, the Indian team manager emphasised on the issue to be taken up seriously with FIH in his post-tournament report following which the complaint was filed.

An HI official revealed that the Leeds police did not follow the standard protocol that prohibits them from questioning a player on international duty until the end of an event.

"Sardar was not there as a tourist. He was representing India as an athlete. The protocol says if you have to investigate any complaint you need to wait till the event is over. How can a player be asked to report to a police station that too 5-6 hours from London in the middle of a tournament?," the HI official said.

"As per protocol, the Indian High Commission should have been informed first but this was not followed. In 2015 this lady had filed a similar complaint in London. She now again filed the same complaint in Leeds. How can one file the same complaint in two different places," he questioned.

Jugraj stated that the interrogation had a bad impact on Sardar Singh and the Indian team who lost three back to back matches resulting in the men in blue finishing at the 6th spot even after making an impressive start to the tournament winning their first three games.

"The effect of the same can be very well seen on Sardar Singh by sitting in cramped position for 11 hours both ways in a car and 4 hours of sitting on chair for questioning.

"We had to drop Sardar in the match against Holland for almost 70 per cent of the time due to stiffness of body. It may be noted here that Sardar Singh is the main playmaker of the Indian team," Jugraj had written in his report.

"The incident affected the morale of the Indian team and the team lost focus and purpose and the performance of the team can be seen in matches which happened after the incident of Sardar Singh.

"The team lost against Holland the next day and also lost against Malaysia and Canada (both lower ranked than India) and before the incident, Indian team had won all 3 pool matches," he added.

Jugraj alleged that a Pakistan-origin Englishman, who is a member of the Parliament, had instigated the lady in question to file a report on the eve of the India-Pakistan match which Indian eventually won 7-1.

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