Saturday, 27 February 2010

Hockey World Cup to start amidst unprecedented security

The Hockey World Cup returns to India after 28 years as India take on arch-rival Pakistan in a potential humdinger here on Sunday amid very tight security.

Click here: Watch India vs Australia live.

Nearly 6,000 security men will be guarding the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium as almost double the number of spectators are expected to turn up for the event. There will be 5,000 policemen, 100 commandos and 1,000 paramilitary forces around the stadium.

Ahead of the India-Pakistan tie at 8:35 pm on Sunday, Australia will take on England (6.35pm) as the pristine new Dhyan Chand National stadium in the Capital gears up for the 12-team tournament.

The FIH president Leandro Negre judged the security on Saturday and is satisfied with the arrangements put forth by India. The protection at the stadium is so intense that Negre had a hard-time convincing the security guards at the gates to prove his crdentials.

"We in the FIH are equally helpless as the Pune terror attack has worsened the situation. We have the responsibility of convincing the hockey family that everything is alright. So, when certain measures are spelt out to ensure their safety, we have to follow what the police say.”

Negre was, however, disappointed by the media boycott of a news conference here on Saturday. He said, “We apologise for what happened. We have been working towards making things easy for them and in the next few days, we assure you everything will be okay."


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