New Delhi:The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Monday said the clash of dates with the money-spinning Indian Premier League was not the sole reason for preponing next year's Hockey World Cup in India.
The World Cup was originally scheduled in the capital from March 7 to 20 but the FIH advanced it by a week to avoid a clash with the third season of the hugely successful IPL slated for March 12-April 25.
Olympians Dhanraj Pillay and V Bhaskaran had flayed the FIH decision, saying the administrators had let down the game and submitted to cricket.
"The reason the FIH advanced the Hero Honda FIH World Cup 2010 was not only for the IPL, but also for other sporting events worldwide. The World Cup is a tournament that will have a lot of interest from many countries, not only India. After analysing the situation, the dates 28 February-13 March 2010 turned out to be the best options," an FIH spokesperson said.
On being asked what were the other reasons for preponing the event, the FIH spokesperson replied, " World Cup will be shown on television in many countries worldwide, not only in India and the other 11 participating teams. In analysing the entire sporting calendar, we decided it was better for the promotion of the event and hockey in general to advance the World Cup by one week."
Hockey India President A K Mattoo had clearly said that they were even considering rescheduling the final of the elite event scheduled for March 13, since it clashed with an IPL double header.
Pillay, one of India's most successful forwards, was livid over the development.
"If they are now thinking of shifting the World Cup final then I would say they are not committed and have submitted to cricket," the former skipper had said.
Former India coach Bhaskaran was equally annoyed and said things like this happen only in India.