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Barog hockey camp called off
May 21, 2004 18:19 IST
Springing a surprise, the Indian Hockey Federation on Friday cancelled the on-going fitness camp at Barog, Himachal Pradesh, and included a fresh destination -- the United States -- in its Olympic training itinerary.
The Barog camp, which started on May 14, was scheduled to continue till May 27 but the players will now travel to Delhi for training and also complete their travel formalities for the US trip.
"We have shifted the Barog camp to Delhi since the presence of players is required for visa and other travel documents for going to United States where we would be having a fitness camp," an IHF official said.
"We have decided to have a two-phase training camp – the first in the USA followed by Germany," he said, adding that the players would leave for the US as soon as the travel formalities are completed.
The venue for the camp in the United States is undecided but the official said it would be attended by 18 players including the nine who had been earlier named for the camp in Germany.
The latest decision means the camp which was slated to be held in Chandigarh from May 27 stands cancelled.
"We have asked the players to come here [Delhi] on Sunday evening and start training from Monday."
Asked how the players would cope up with the heat and humidity of Delhi, he said, "We have no other choice since the travel regulations for the USA are very strict."
IHF president K P S Gill also confirmed that the Barog camp had been cancelled but refused to state the reason behind the decision.
"The camp has been shifted to New Delhi and training would be held here. But I can't say why it has been shifted since it is an internal matter."
The 13 players, participating in the Barog camp, were not aware of the sudden change in plans and went about their training as scheduled.
"We don't know about the camp being shifted to New Delhi. No one has told anything regarding this to us so far," said one player but added that they had been asked to "keep our passports ready".
Gill declined to comment on IHF's plans to hold the camp in the United States, saying "the matter is under discussion".
The Germany camp, scheduled to be held from May 27 to June 21, is, in all likelihood, to be shortened. But the IHF official said once the team reaches the European country from the US, it would continue training as per schedule.
"We will also be playing the four-nation tournament in Holland and continue with what we had announced earlier."
He said details of the change in IHF's plans would be announced formally on Monday.
"Before that we can't give details of the new schedule and dates of the camps."