Ahead of India's World Cup Hockey quarter finals on December 13, captain Manpreet Singh and three other players were humiliated, hurled abuses at, forced to apologise and were thrown out of the VIP Lounge by Hockey India at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneshwar on December 11 night.
"Shut up & Get Out. Who invited you here?" Hockey India CEO Elena Norman shouted at Manpreet, Mandeep Singh, Gurjant Singh and Krishan Pathak were thrown out of the VIP Lounge for not wearing "proper band" and entering into an area not meant for Indian players.
Interestingly, some foreign players, including a few Australians were allowed and kept on staying in the Lounge despite the unexpected and rude reprimand.
"The players were just chatting & talking to each other and did not know the area was not meant for them. Firstly, how can they stop Indian hockey players and its captain from entering a VIP lounge. Indian Hockey is because of hockey players not its officials. Secondly, there is a way to communicate. How can you say Shut Up & Get Out to Indian captain?" one of the official who witnessed the whole incident informed Republic TV.
Republic TV independently verified the claims which were endorsed by two of the four players and other officials and journalists present there.
Event hospitality officials were also hurled choicest of abuses, including the four-letter word, when they tried to intervene.
The event officials have taken the matter up and an unofficial complaint made.
When Republic TV contacted them, Hockey India responded with this statement: “HI has clarified that those who brought the players in were yelled at as it could result in a serious breach of code and even suspension of players. At no point were the players themselves yelled at during the course of events.”
However, the incident has not gone down well with former hockey players and local organisers who are likely to take the matter to its logical conclusion. "She owes an apology and Hockey India must take action" was the common refrain coming out from the stadium.