NEW DELHI: The Asian Champion Indian hockey team is upset over the prize money given to them by Hockey India as skipper Rajpal Singh refused to accept the cash prize of Rs 25,000.
During a felicitation ceremony at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium last evening, the players were offered the reward but they outrightly rejected it.
"We were offered Rs 25,000 each by HI secretary general Narinder Batra as reward for winning the Asian Champions Trophy but we all refused to take it because it a very small reward considering our achievement," senior player Gurbaz Singh said.
Do you think it is a insult to our hockey players?
Gurbaz said it was not possible to draw youngsters to the game with such rewards.
"We did not expect such a small amount as reward, considering the fact that hockey is our national game. If such things continue, there will be a day when there will be very few kids interested in playing hockey. They would rather opt for cricket or any other individual sport," he added.
Another member of the victorious team said that such a meagre reward did not come as a surprise to him.
"These things are not new in Indian hockey. Now we are used to such step-motherly behavior. This doesn't make any difference," the player said on condition of anonymity.
India won the Asian Champions Trophy by defeating arch-rivals Pakistan 4-2 via shoot out in the summit clash.
Meanwhile, Sports minister Ajay Maken has announced the new cash reward for the Indian hockey players of Rs 1.5 lakh each for winning the Asian Champions Trophy after players rejected the earlier reward of Rs 25000 offered by Hockey India.