New Delhi:The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Monday lashed out at India's boycotting players, saying they got their priorities all wrong.
FIH vice president Antonio von Ondarza, also the world body's observer for Hockey India elections, said staying away from training camp before an important event like World Cup was unheard of in the game's history.
"I came here yesterday and came to know about the players' strike from television. I am very sad at what is happening, this shouldn't have happened. This is completely unheard of in hockey circles," Ondarza, who was here to meet HI officials and help them resolve the election issues, told reporters.
"We want India to comeback. India has been a traditional hockey nation in the world and for a player wearing India shirt should be his priority," he said.
He also said that with the World Cup round the corner, the players should not have taken such an extreme step which would only hamper India's preparations for the February 28-March 13 mega-event to be held in the capital.
"Staying away from training is not the solution. World Cup is at the door, if they don't train it will only affect their results in the World Cup," Ondarza said.
The FIH vice president said the players should keep in mind that hockey is not a cash-rich sport like football and basketball.
"Hockey is not a sport with billions of dollar. We are not FIFA or basketball," Ondarza said.
He also expressed optimism that HI officials would sort out the problems and the players would resume training soon.
"Nothing much I can do in this matter. Hockey India will have to sort out this problem. I hope they straighten out things. I can only advise them on this matter," Ondarza added.
The Indian players went on strike in Pune on Friday for an indefinite period in protest against non-payment of their dues.
The dispute was temporarily resolved on Saturday after a marathon meeting between six senior members of the national team and the top HI officials here.
It was back to square one again as the players decided to launch a fresh strike on Sunday night, saying that they were not satisfied with the assurances given by the HI.