Mired in controversies since its very inception, the multi-crore World Series Hockey was today postponed until after the Olympic Qualifiers to be held here in February next year.
The event, a joint initiative of Nimbus and the de-recognised Indian Hockey Federation, was to start on December 17 here but with several Indian players pulling out to join the national camp in Bangalore for the Olympic Qualifiers, the Rs 10 crore event has been pushed to February 29.
The Olympic qualifiers are scheduled from February 16 to February 25 here. "We have postponed the tournament and it will start from February 29, after the Olympic qualifiers, under the same format. We did not want to put the national players who have signed contracts with us but later withdrawn into any trouble. I want them to play in the Olympic qualifiers and I will be happy if India qualifies for London Olympics," IHF President R K Shetty told PTI.
"We have been able to convince Nimbus to postpone the tournament though it was a very difficult decision for them. They have incurred huge losses. They have slotted prime time for the telecast of the matches on their Neo Channel and they have spent huge amount on other logistics.
"We also had to convince the franchises about the postponement. Some franchises including Chennai Cheetas were to start training from today. Now they have to cancel it for a later date. So it was a difficult thing to convince the franchises and Nimbus to the decision. But we do not want to put any problem to the national players. That was the only reason," he explained.