The Indian hockey team's failure to qualify for the Beijing Olympics has prompted the sport's governing body to say that New Delhi may not host the 2010 men's World Cup.
Els van Breda Vriesman, who heads the International Hockey Federation (FIH), issued a statement on Tuesday night saying India must tighten up its belt now lose the chance to host the world event.
"It has been made clear that the staging of the 2010 World Cup is related to the success of the (Promoting Indian Hockey) project and the world body is still waiting for signs that things are really going to happen in India," Vriesman said in the statement.
"The Indian men's team is the record gold medallist in our sport and participated in all Olympic Games from 1928 until 2004. But sport is sometimes hard, but honest and only the best 12 teams in the world will participate at the Olympic Games."
"The result shows that Indian Hockey now needs to implement the Operational Plans which have been provided nearly a year ago as part of the project 'Promoting Indian Hockey' without any further delay. In these plans, Ric Charlesworth is going to play an instrumental role for a more structural development of Indian hockey in the long term, while he can also be of great assistance on the short term..."
"The result also confirms that Indian hockey really needs this help to get back to the level in accordance with their potential. The project 'Promoting Indian Hockey', supported by the FIH, the International Olympic Committee and the Indian Olympic Association, should be taken seriously to achieve progress in the identified areas of concern, amongst them the national teams of India."
The statement says that the FIH executive board will meet on March 25 in Lausanne, Switzerland, to discuss the 'Promoting Indian Hockey' project and decide on further steps on the staging of the 2010 World Cup.