Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam has criticised Belgium’s public expression of displeasure in Indians sweeping the FIH honours this year. Ningomban feels that it is a proper case of racial discrimination and has requested FIH to carry out a proper investigation on the matter.
Ningombam wrote a letter to FIH CEO Thierry Weil making all these claims as he feels that Belgium and their players questioning the legitimacy of the awards is a clear disrespect for the Indians winning the honour.
“The public statements of displeasure at the announcement of the Indian winners is highly disrespectful and not in the spirit of sportsmanship and the sport of hockey,” Ningombam wrote in the letter.
“The objections on behalf of Belgium Federation for 2021 winners needs to be carefully examined by the FIH Governance Panel for what is considered by myself as a case of discrimination/racial discrimination.”
he claimed how the Indian players have worked hard day and night to put up a top performance at the Tokyo Olympics but their accomplishment is constantly getting undermined by negative comments from different associations and players.
“… how humiliating, mentally traumatic and insulting it is to the Indian athletes and coaches. Hockey India cannot stand by and allow the efforts and achievements of Indian athletes and coaches to be questioned in this manner…,” he said.
“ls it fair that the hard work and efforts of these athletes are being scrutinised and they are being put through such harassment and mental intimidation?” he asked.
It was a great outing for Indian hockey at the Tokyo Olympics as the Men’s team broke a 41-year-old jinx to win the bronze medal and performed really well throughout the campaign. Whereas the women’s team pulled off the biggest surprise of the Olympics. The Indian eves punched way above their weight and finished at an unprecedented fourth position. They missed out on a medal after losing the Bronze medal match against England.
Therefore the Indians dominated the FIH Awards, five players along with the coaches of the men’s and the women’s team received the FIH annual awards. But other teams like Belgium, who won the gold medal in Tokyo are understandably furious as they feel that they deserve some of the awards for being the Olympics champion this year. Similarly, in women’s hockey, Netherlands won the gold medal and they also share the same feeling as Belgium.