Pune:With the hockey standoff continuing, Hockey India did some hard talking on Tuesday. It has given players on strike one more day to return to practice.
Thereafter, says the interim body that governs the game, it will go ahead and play the World Cup next month with reserves or totally new players who will be given "crash training".
Admitting that the impasse over payments continued, Hockey India president AK Mattoo said: "Players have told us they will continue with the strike...It seems like money is more important for players than playing for their nation. Everywhere across the globe, the priority is playing for the country and not the money."
Mattoo said the kind of money the players were demanding would run into crores of rupees and the body did not have the cash surplus, something that had been explained to the players.
He said if the players did not return to practice in a day, the preparatory camp for World Cup would be broken for a few days and then would resume. Players who did not practice would have to leave the complex.
Yesterday, Hockey India had given the players a 24-hour ultimatum which it extended by another 24 hours today.