By Press Trust of India, Press Trust of India, New Delhi
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) will ask hosts England to investigate India’s allegation that attempts were made to “fix” their Hockey World League Semifinal clash against Pakistan last month.
FIH’s decision came after Hockey India (HI) lodged an official complaint to the world body about the timing of former captain Sardar Singh’s interrogation by Yorkshire police during the HWL Semi-Final in London last month.
The interrogation was in relation to a year-old sexual assault case filed by an England international hockey player of Indian origin.
In the letter sent to FIH CEO Jason McCracken on July 5, HI president Mariamma Koshy referred to a June 19 incident where, acting on a complaint filed by an England junior-level hockey player on June 17, Sardar was summoned to Leeds for questioning.
The FIH said it expects the report of the investigation to be out in the next two to three months.
“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.”
The complaint was lodged with the FIH after Indian team manager Jugraj Singh asked HI to take up the matter seriously with the FIH in his post-tournament report.
An HI official said the Leeds police did not follow any protocol while summoning Sardar for questioning, that too in the middle of a tournament.
“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, in his report to HI, had stated that Sardar was disturbed by the questioning and after the incident, India lost three back-to-back matches.
“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.
In his report, Jugraj has alleged that a Pakistani-origin Member of Parliament in England instigated the lady in question to file the complaint on the eve of the India- Pakistan match, which India eventually won 7-1.