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Eyeing glory, Indian Hockey Teams arrive in Rio for 2016 Olympic Games
~ Optimistic Indian men’s and women’s teams vie for top honours at the Olympic Games; matches to begin on August 6 ~
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, 29th July 2016: Eager and determined to put up a top-notch performance at the 2016 Olympic Games, the Indian men and women’s hockey teams arrived in Rio today.
While the men’s team traveled from Madrid after playing two friendly matches against the Spanish national squad, the Indian women’s team arrived from Philadelphia where they won two matches against Canada and one match against USA national teams. This will be the first women’s hockey team from India in 36 years to play at the Olympics.
The excitement and anxiousness was palpable among the women led by promising young Captain Sushila Chanu. The Hockey India women’s team features in Pool B and will play against Argentina, Australia, Great Britain, USA and Japan. “After a series of losses in England and Australia in the lead up to the Olympic Games, the wins in the USA has helped us in gaining the confidence we needed ahead of the Rio Olympics,” said Chanu.
“This is our first Olympic Games and we are aware that our performance here will help the future generation of women to take up the sport and excel. We are looking forward to putting up a good show and our aim is to make the quarterfinals first,” a confident Chanu added further.
Meanwhile, the men’s team riding high on their recent exploits in the FIH Champions Trophy in London, where the PR Sreejesh-led squad won a historic Silver medal, is vying to get the better of some of the top teams in their pool. On arrival, Captain and goalkeeper of the Indian Hockey Team, PR Sreejesh said, “Our first priority is to beat some of the top teams in our pool including Germany, Argentina and Netherlands. Though we have beaten each of these teams in the past or have come close to beating Germany in the Champions Trophy recently, the Olympic Games is a different ball game and we need to put up something extraordinary and special to excel against them.”
The Captain further stated that every match will be crucial and their first goal is to make the quarterfinals. “Obviously we are here to win a medal. But to do that, we need to take it match-by-match. We will not take any match lightly, be it Ireland (the first team we play), Canada or the defending Olympic Champions Germany. We will play each match like it is our last,” stated the goalkeeper.
The Indian men’s team will play Netherlands, Argentina, Germany, Ireland and Canada in their pool ‘B’ matches and will need to be in the top four in the pool to make it to the quarterfinals.
Chief Coach Roelant Oltmans expressed the team’s eagerness to compete in the greatest tournament on the planet. “This is the first Olympics for most of the boys in the team and naturally they have butterflies in their stomach but this bunch knows how to handle pressure in big-ticket matches. This moment that we have been working on for so many months and years is finally here and I am confident that this team has it in them to create history. This is the time for them to peak and I am sure they are ready for it,” he concluded.
The men’s team will take on Ireland on August 6, 2016 at 19:30 IST in their first match while the women begin their campaign against Japan on August 7, 2016 at 19:30 IST. All matches will be broadcasted Live on Star Sports, Star Sports HD and DD National.
Men’s Team Schedule
August 6, 2016
India vs Ireland
August 8, 2016
Germany vs India
August 9, 2016
Argentina vs India
August 11, 2016
Netherlands vs India
August 12, 2016
India vs Canada
Women’s Team Schedule
August 7, 2016
Japan vs India
August 9, 2016
India vs Great Britain
August 10, 2016
India vs Australia
August 12, 2016
USA vs India
August 13, 2016
Argentina vs India
HOCKEY INDIA TEAM PARTNERS
About HOCKEY INDIA HOCKEY INDIA (HI) is the governing body having an exclusive mandate to direct and conduct all activities for both men and women hockey in India. It is recognized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Govt. of India as the sole body responsible towards promoting Hockey in India.
Headquartered in New Delhi, Hockey India was established on 20th May, 2009 and is affiliated to the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Asian Hockey Federation (AHF).
Committed to the development of Hockey in the country, Hockey India with the assistance of Sports Authority of India and Department of Sports, Government of India, has drawn out a Long-Term Development Programme (LTDP) to train players, provide world-class infrastructure and International exposure besides regular international competition. With its vision to popularize the game and constantly promote it, Hockey India is dedicated to getting our team into the top three in the world.
Electronic and print media journalists are holding a rally at 4pm on II Chundrigar Road today (Saturday) in protest against the illegal disruption of Geo TV in Karachi. Protesting journalists will later march to the Karachi Press Club where a protest meeting will be held.
Civil society and journalists across the country have condemned the disruption of Geo News position on TV cable network in Karachi.
Supreme Court Bar Association’s former president Asma Jahangir has said that this is not the first time such treatment has been meted out to Geo News
She said the Supreme Court, Lahore High Court and Islamabad High Court have already given their verdicts, directing Pemra to take action against those who indulge in such unlawful activities.
Pemra had given this commitment in the courts that it would monitor the cable operators and take action against such cable networks, she added. It is a violation of the law and Pemra should take action in this regard, she said.
Senior analyst Imtiaz Alam, who is also the secretary general of South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) said that pushing Geo to last numbers on cable was an attack on the independence of the media. It is like exploiting the organization economically so that it is closed down ultimately.
He said in a statement that Geo and Jang Group is again under attack as Geo broadcasts have been placed in the oblivion of tail Enders — a typical method of throwing you out of the market and denying people’s right to know.
Geo and Jang had come under attack two years earlier- but it survived despite incurring huge losses that have not yet been covered. It’s again being financially strangulated by curtailing its outreach in Karachi and elsewhere.
The management was and is under tremendous pressure to compromise its freedom of expression and editorial autonomy. It is being pressurized to change its stance over the issues of democracy, fundamental rights and policy issues. Unfortunately, the elected governments are not taking a firm stand against the unlawful encroachments and diminishing of media freedom. If the politicians think that democracy will survive after the muzzling of press freedom, they live in fool’s paradise.
Commenting on pushing Geo to last numbers on cable, central convenor of Council of All Pakistan Press Clubs Arshad Ansari said that all journalists were with Geo News, because the channel did not terminate even a single worker despite facing curbs and problems.
Senior analyst Najam Sethi said that the timing of the current attack was very dangerous. Doing such a thing with Geo shows that a conspiracy is being hatched against the channel and gagging Geo is like silencing the biggest voice of the media, he added.
Former president of PFUJ Pervaiz Shaukat said that pushing Geo to last numbers was an attack on the independence of the media, and it would affect thousands of journalists.
Islamabad High Court Bar President Tariq Mehmood Jehangiri said disruption Geo position on cable network was a violation of Article 19 of the Constitution and an attack on the press freedom. He said everyone has the right to freedom of expression and it is an injustice to the most famous channel of Pakistan. He said it is the economic murder of the media workers, and journalists across Pakistan would protest against it.
Former president of PFUJ Afzal Butt appealed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take action against those responsible for this injustice to Geo channel.
Barrister Salahuddin said that clearly mentions that all the news channels would be placed in a single group and the cable operators changing their position was a violation of that.
Karachi Press Club President Fazil Jamili said journalists had protested against a similar attempt in the past and they would support Geo again at every forum.
Senior analyst Hamid Mir said those who did not have the guts to talk openly and those who lacked logic wanted to impose their agenda through a conspiracy and baseless allegations.
Senior journalist Iftikhar Ahmed said one could not support democracy and present people’s problems and desires in this manner.
Lahore Press Club Secretary Shadaab Riaz said there was no justification to place the country’s largest TV channel at the last numbers, which was tantamount to animosity to the channel and journalists.
LPC President Shahbaz Mian said that was a curb on freedom of expression. Although Pemra existed, it lacked the desired reputation and that’s why cable operators had become a mafia, he said.
Shahzeb Khanzada said the cable operators were a power which was used to manipulate the position of TV channels and used to blackmail Geo.
He said the court should be moved and complaints filed with Pemra if Geo was involved in something wrong.
National Press Club President Shakil Anjum said others would also face the same situation currently being faced by Geo and therefore everyone should unite and work together for the purpose.
Senior analyst Suhail Warraich said although there was a Constitution and democracy in the country, the actions being taken against Geo were against the law, Constitution and democracy.
Senior journalist Talat Hussain said if there’s anyone having any case against Geo, then a forum was available to fight the matter. The Jang Group representative stated that a judicial commission could be formed in case anyone had any material, Talat added.
Senior analyst Idrees Bakhtiar described the move as an attack on press freedom. He said such moves had never been practiced in any democratic country, as he demanded a probe into why Geo was being shut.
Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) President Ali Raza Alvi said that Geo was continuously under attack, which was a violation of the press freedom.
RIUJ General Secretary Bilal Dar said that it was strange that attacks on the press freedom were continuing, though a democratic government was in place in the country.
The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), along with the Geo administration, would move the Supreme Court of Pakistan if Geo News was not restored to its original position.
Chairman of the Free Legal Aid Committee of the PBC, Ch Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan, said that those who loved yellow journalism were mistaken to believe that they would get something by using such tactics against Geo and Jang group. He said throwing Pakistan’s most popular channel on the last numbers was worst discrimination and violation of the basics provisions of the Constitution.
Another PBC leader, Shuaib Shaheen, said the freedom of media was being curbed in a technical way by throwing the channel on last number so that no one could find it on cable. PBC member Muhammad Aaqil lauded the step taken by the Pemra chairman, and advised the government to support it.
Islamabad High Court Bar Association Chairman Tariq Mehmood Jehangiri said the action against Geo violated Article 19 of the Constitution as it curbed freedom of expression. He demanded formation of an independent commission to probe the issue.
Islamabad District Bar Association President Syed Muhammad Tayyab said that the bar stood by Geo and demanded the prime minister take strict notice of the issue.
Human Rights Welfare Trust Chairman Kokab Iqbal urged the Supreme Court to take notice of the situation.
Jamaat-e-Islami leaders Sirajul Haq, Liaquat Baloch and Amirul Azeem said the move was a violation of the court orders and Pemra laws.