NEW DELHI: World field hockey chiefs were on Friday grappling with a major row caused by two unrelated trans-Atlantic developments that threaten to undermine the Olympic sport.
The unprecedented goal spree at the ongoing Pan-American Games in the Dominican Republic that eclipsed India's 71-year-old world record has raised the heckles of hockey lovers around the globe.
The hosts, playing an international hockey event for the first time, were thrashed by Argentina 30-0 and then by Chile 25-0 to eclipse India's famous 24-1 victory over the United States at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932.
Critics want the new records erased, saying the huge scorelines against the Dominican minnows devalued the sport.
As if that was not enough, world champions Germany decided this week to field a second-string team at the elite six-nation Champions Trophy tournament in Holland from August 16.
German coach Bernhard Peters said he wanted to preserve the seniors for the subsequent European Nations Cup in Spain in September which will give the winner a direct entry to next year's Athens Olympics.
The sport's leading website, www.fieldhockey.com, slammed Germany's move and urged the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to take action.
FIH officials declined to make an immediate comment on Germany's surprise move, but defended Dominican Republic's participation at the Pan American Games and insisted the new records will stay.
“Although the defeats suffered by the host nation are considered unfortunate, the FIH considers the situation to be the best possible balance of excellence and development, necessary for the global promotion of hockey,” said FIH communications manager Steven Morris.
“At the Olympic Games, for example, FIHs policy is to ensure a fair competition between the best nations of the world, taking continental representation into account.
“At qualifying tournaments like the Pan-American Games, which sends the winner to the Olympics, there is a greater emphasis on development.
“The host country has to take part.” – AFP