Hyderabad:The Indian hockey team at the Junior Asia Cup finds itself in the eye of a storm with rival sides from Singapore and Malaysia accusing it of fielding at least six over-age players.
Coaches of Singapore and Malaysian teams said they were stunned to see the so-far-unbeaten Indians fielding some "senior" players in the tournament in Hyderabad.
The Indian team officials, have, however, strongly denied that any of their players were overaged.
Chiow Chuan Lim, coach of Singapore and Muralidharan, coach of Malaysia, demanded that the Asian and International Hockey Federations evolve a scientific approach to eradicate the malpractice.
"It is not only India, Pakistan and Bangladesh but even the Europeans have been fielding over-age players in FIH recognised tournaments for a long long time. We have been facing this problem even in junior World Cups," Lim fumed.
"The FIH and all the continental federations have to address this problem and put in place a scientific approach to eradicate this," he said.
An equally miffed Muralidharan said he would have pursued the matter more vigorously if he had some documentary proof in hand.
"It has been happening for a couple of years. We cannot make a complaint but we have been requesting them to resolve this issue of teams fielding over-age players in FIH and AHC recognised tournaments. Our perception is that these players are over aged but we do not have written proof to challenge this," he rued.