3-member committee to probe Bengal U-19 hockey squad’s tonsuring

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Kolkata, Jan 21 (IANS) A three-member committee will be formed by the Bengal Hockey Association (BHA) to investigate the matter of Under-19 Bengal hockey squad players being asked to shave their heads following a defeat in a junior level match.

“The committee will be formed by tonight. We will then come to a conclusion,” said Swapan Banerjee, secretary BHA.

Manmeet Singh Goindi, Sports Authority of India (SAI), Eastern region, said he will speak to the players and then take necessary action.

“I will speak to the players once they are back from school and then take necessary steps. It is a very unfortunate incident and unheard of,” he told IANS over phone.

After losing to Namdhari XI 1-5 in the quarterfinal of the India Junior National Championship (B Division) in Jabalpur, coach Anand Kumar had allegedly asked players to shave their heads.

While some members of the squad said they did it out of respect and disappointment, the coach said he never asked them to do so and even tried to stop them when he came to know of it.

“I scolded them during the match and never said anything after that. Why will I force them? I will talk to the players that what happened? I did not get a chance to speak to them as I am in the hospital for my wife,” the Railways coach said.

“When I came to know of it I even tried to stop them. I was angry when we were losing by three-four goals during halftime. I scolded the boys and, in anger, said I will have their heads tonsured,” he explained.

The U-19 squad comprised 18 players and it was learnt that all players except two had shaved their heads. A dozen of the players were from SAI’s Eastern Regional Centre in Salt Lake.



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