Monday , February 6 2023

Diplomatic incident between India and Belgian hockey federation: “These words are humiliating”


They reported the indignation of the Asian leader in their newspapers on Thursday “in the face of derogatory comments about Indian athletes and coaches”, and even accused Belgium of “racial discrimination”.

Last week, ARBH was disappointed with the final turnaround of these trophies, where all the awards – 8 different ones – went to India. Belgium, the winner of the Olympic gold medal and the winner of the Pro League for men, like the Netherlands for women, was left empty-handed.

On social networks, the Belgian federation, like several red lions, published critical messages about this election. “This is not normal! The credibility and image of our sport are hard to hit again,” we could read on the official Twitter account of the Olympic champions. Even in India, the system established by the FIH to determine winners divides public opinion. Some wonder if there is an amalgam made by the election of FIH President Narinder Batra by two votes ahead of Marc Coudron and what would have happened if the Belgian leader had moved in the direction of FIH, given that the voting system was already in place.

The same regret that the reactions and criticism fell after the election, and not before, claiming that Belgium, when it won all the awards in 2018, was “only” silver and that it has not won any major tournament yet. Others are outraged by the reaction of the Indian Federation and reject criticism from the FIH and the European Federation (EHF), which failed to bring together most of its member states behind its candidates (only 19 European associations out of 42 voted).

In any case, Gianendro Ningombam demands a public apology from ARBH for “his humiliating remarks.” “Otherwise, HI will turn to the FIH’s” administrative panel “to conduct a detailed investigation into possible cases of racial discrimination against its athletes and coaches,” the letter to FIH said. BELGA, ARBH wanted not to react.

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