Kolkata, Jan 21 (IANS) Former hockey Olympian Gurbux Singh on Monday expressed shock at the incident where junior players were allegedly asked to shave their heads after a loss, saying there is urgent need to go deep into the matter and examine who is at fault as it is a "bad advertisement" for sport in general.
"I have been a player and coach for India at the highest level for so many years. I have been told so many times by coaches so many things, and as a coach too I have said so many things. Like if I was told, go and die if you can't win, I didn't go and die," Gurbux told IANS over the phone.
"The matter needs to be looked into with all seriousness and we need to speak to the players, the coach and everybody concerned before taking a decision," he said.
Gurbux will be part of the three-member committee being 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.
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 the 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 shave their heads and even tried to stop them when he came to know of it.
"This is not a good advertisement for sports. I don't understand the coach (Anand Kumar) is not even their full time coach. He was there just for the tournament. Then why did the players come to Kolkata from the tournament, and after two days decide to shave off their heads," said Gurbux.
Gurbux was asked if he was siding with the coach.
"I am not taking anybody's side because I have not heard the case yet. There is a lot of hue and cry about it but I ask for patience in this matter."
"We need to hear the kids out first and with kindness. The important matter is if they were pressurised or not," he said.