New Delhi:India's unprecedented failure to make it to the Olympics might have raised hue and cry, but the International Hockey Federation has assured the debacle would not affect their chances of hosting the 2010 World Cup.
Though the entire country sunk into depression after India, for the first time in 80 years, failed to book a berth in the Beijing Olympics, FIH-appointed Project Director of 'Promoting Indian Hockey,' Bob Davidzon said the defeat in Chile provided a chance to rebuild the game in the country.
"(It's a) missed opportunity, hopefully (India) gained an opportunity to start a change," Davidzon said in an interview.
Davidzon also assured that India's failure to reach the Beijing Olympics would not make them ineligible to host the prestigious World Cup in two year's time.
"Being at the Olympics or not is not one of the criteria that will decide the venue of World Cup 2010," he said.
The Dutchman admitted the Santiago debacle could have a negative impact on the 'Promoting Indian Hockey' project, but felt it would also provide the scope to start it afresh.
"Of course (the project would be affected), but again it may help to usher in change," he said.
Davidzon, meanwhile, outrightly rejected claims of Indian Hockey Federation Chief KPS Gill and coach Joaquim Carvalho that India was a victim of poor umpiring in the Olympic qualifiers.
"(These are) unsubstantiated remarks," he said. Davidzon said though Technical Adviser and Expert Coach Ric Charlesworth's contract was not signed before the Chile tournament, he was not sure whether it was the sole reason behind not sending the Aussie with the Indian team for the crucial assignment.
"I cannot look into Gill's mind. He is right that the contract was not signed (at that time)," said the FIH official, who was actively involved in finalising Charlesworth's contract after the Australian declined to work in India after learning that he would only be given charge of the junior teams.
On Gill's insistence to retain Carvalho as coach, Davidzon said, "I do not know what his considerations are."