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Change in schedule criticised
December 08, 2005 20:51 IST
The change in schedule just a few days before the Champions Trophy hockey tournament in Chennai has drawn sharp criticism from coaches of other teams in the fray.
In order to meet Doordarshan's demands for live telecast of the matches, the Indian Hockey Federation made a few changes in the schedule on Wednesday.
According to the new schedule, the matches involving India would be played at 1830 IST instead of the original time of 2000 IST.
Also, the main attraction at the league stage – the clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan - has been advanced to December 11 from December 14.
"This is nothing short of a joke, I cannot still believe something like this has actually happened," said German coach Bernhard Peters, after getting to know that his side will now play Olympic gold medallists Australia instead of defending champions Spain in the opening match.
Now, Spain will meet hosts India in their opening game.
Netherlands coach Roelant Oltmans also cast aspersions at the last-minute changes in the schedule.
"This is not the most professional way to handle these matters. How can coaches be given new fixtures just 72 hours before the tournament," he said.
"After all, this is the biggest tournament of the year and a crucial event before the World Cup next year," Oltmans added.