At last the upcoming World Series Hockey has something to cheer about as the Sports Authority of India has given them permission to conduct matches at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium and shifted the national camp for the Olympic qualifiers to Bangalore.
Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra has confirmed that the proposed national camp for both men and women's team from December 11 at the National Stadium moved out of the Capital.
Batra, however, refused to divulge the new venue of the camp, but according to a source in SAI it will be held in SAI South Centre in Bangalore.
"We have been informed by SAI that the camp for both men as well as women cannot be held here. It is totally up to the government to decide where it wants to hold the camps," Batra said.
Incidentally, the multi million dollars WSH, which starts on December 17, clashes with the proposed national camp, which is seen as the reason behind SAI's decision.
The rival Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), the joint promoters of WSH along with Nimbus Sports, also confirmed that they gave got the green signal from SAI to hold matches at the National Stadium.
"Yes, we have got the permission from SAI to organise WSH matches at National Stadium. We had applied much earlier and thats why we got the stadium," IHF president R K Shetty said.
"Originally, the national camp was scheduled to be held from January 27 but suddenly Hockey India changed the dates. We scheduled our tournament keeping in mind the national camp."
The WSH, to be held across different cities of the country from December 17 to January 22, recently suffered a huge blow as 12 national players, who have signed for the tournament, have opted out preferring national camp over the league.
The players who withdrew from WSH were Bharat Chetri, Tushar Khandekar, Yuvraj Walmiki, PR Sreejesh, Sandeep Singh, Sardar Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Danish Mujtaba, K Chinglensana Singh, Manjeet Kullu, Birendra Lakra and Manpreet Singh.
However, Shetty said they have not heard anything from the players as yet and expressed confidence that all those who have signed up with the league will certainly play.