When the map on the hockey World Cup trophy depicted Jammu and Kashmir as part of Pakistan, it sparked a dilemma.
Former FIH president Narinder Batra claims he threatened Indian customs with not approving the Trophy for the 2018 World Cup in Odisha before the alterations were made and only continent boundaries were highlighted.
The hockey World Cup trophy will arrive in Rourkela on January 13 after travelling via 13 states, one union territory, and 30 districts of Odisha. India will start their campaign against Spain at the brand-new Birsa Munda Stadium.
The beautiful trophy, which is carved out of gold and silver and has a hockey stick and ball on top of a globe, has been met with tremendous enthusiasm by hundreds of people, including past and present players, in every city and district where it has been paraded over the previous month.
However, when Odisha hosted the World Cup for the first time five years ago, the trophy nearly caused a problem for both the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the host country.
Former FIH, Hockey India, and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra claimed on Thursday that he had threatened the international organisation that he would “guarantee that the trophy does not enter” the country.
What’s the reason? According to Batra, the global map adorning the trophy depicted Jammu and Kashmir as part of Pakistan.
“When I became President of FIH in 2016, I insisted on the correction and told FIH that neither I, nor any other Indian political leader, will introduce this trophy during 2018 World Cup in India, and I will make sure that Indian Customs does not clear the trophy to enter India with just an incorrect map,” said Batra, who resigned as president of IOA and FIH last year. “In 2017, the trophy was finally repaired, and just continents were displayed, with nation lines deleted.”
When contacted, the FIH stated that the award was modified in 2017, but did not comment on what alterations were made.
According to the FIH website, Pakistan developed and created the World Cup trophy, which was the idea of former Pakistan Hockey Federation president Nur Khan, when the initial edition was held in 1971. “The designer was Basheer Moojid, and the actual craftsmanship was carried out by men of the Pakistan Army’s Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps,” the FIH stated on its website.
Pakistan, which won the first World Cup and has been a superpower for decades, has not qualified for the 16-team tournament, which will be co-hosted in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela.