IHF criticized for providing no security plan

LONDON: English hockey team strongly lashed out at the International Hockey Federation for not providing its security plans for the next month''s World Cup in India.

There are 12 teams competing in Delhi, the host for the Commonwealth Games later this year.

David Faulkner, the England Hockey performance director said, "We are going to a part of the world where security is an issue. Staff and players have been briefed and we have given individual choice to players and staff if they wish to attend the World Cup or not."

With security in India a point of major interest, Faulkner added that the World Cup would prove a crucial test to the country''s resources with just nine months to go before the Commonwealth Games.

"The FIH don''t like me using this statement but this is a major test event for the Commonwealth Games," he said.

England go into the tournament ranked sixth in the world, and despite their tough group draw which as well as Australia includes Spain, Pakistan, India and South Africa, captain Barry Middleton is confident his side can reach the semi finals.

Faulkner said he''d like to see more consideration three weeks before the tournament, adding he is still waiting for guarantees of what''s going to be put into place.

Faulkner, a member of Great Britain''s gold medal-winning hockey team from the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, is still waiting for security details of the team''s hotel and transportation as well as the World Cup venues.

He said the focus is to ensure that there is no distraction when they land in Delhi.

Faulkner said he would not mind withdrawing its team from the tournament if intelligence suggests an imminent risk to his team.

Faulkner said: "On my last visit to New Delhi I set up key links with the British High Commission in terms of logistics and appropriate intelligence and as of today there is no intelligence telling us we shouldn''t be going and that is being monitored regularly.