Hockey India withdrew from the Games on Tuesday saying there was only a 32-day window available between the Games in Birmingham (July 28-August 8) and Hangzhou. Asian games (September 10 to 25).
HI said it was unwilling to risk sending its players to the UK, which has been one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Batra said it was the right decision given that an Asian gold would ensure direct qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“You will reach the top in the CWG, you will come home for 15 days for a break. By the time you come back you have to go to China and you haven’t played for a month, so you want India to win,” Batra said. who is also president of the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
Batra made the comments at a function hosted by Maharashtra Olympic Games AssociationGeneral secretary Namdev Shirgaonkar and the Goa Olympic Games Association.
“These are some tough decisions you have to make. They will blame me and I will become unpopular with the players because a gold medal (in the CWG) can earn you 50 lakh rupees. (But) I have to attend to what is most important. And that’s to qualify for the Olympics, “he explained.
“If you want to send a B team, now there is no B team with us. You cannot send players in poor physical condition. Pata chale 40 minutes tha 0-0 hai aur phir 10 goal ho gaye. We don’t want that kind of situation”, added.
Batra also urged all national federations to put national goals before people and plan for at least a decade.
“We have to think about the country and not the individuals. Each federation should think like that. Some federations believe that the athletes are due to them, they need to reverse that. Nahi to band kar do sab,” he said.
“It is not something emotional, you have to make difficult decisions,” he added.
The longtime administrator also acknowledged that he is not on the best terms with the IOA Secretary General. Rajeev Mehta but he insisted that it has not hindered the functioning of the body.
IOA goes to the polls in December and Batra and Mehta are often embroiled in a bitter war of words or overcoming.
“We have our differences, but it’s not that we don’t talk. We talk and try to resolve differences, but what can I do if someone backs down even after long discussions? I prefer people who can do things directly and not behind their backs. “, said.
“I have my flaws, but I don’t back down from commitments,” he said.
He also urged national federations to ensure greater gender parity in administration and provide equal training and competition opportunities to their female athletes.
“Gender balance is another aspect we need to work on. You are going to get a diktat to improve that very soon from International Olympic Committee. If you are not training women in your sports, you are doing the country a disservice because we would lose medals for that, ”he said.