Ahead of India’s World Cup Hockey quarter finals, captain Manpreet Singh and three other players were abused and thrown out of the VIP Lounge by Hockey India’s CEO, Elena Norman after they were seen at the VIP lounge of the Kalinga Stadium during the match between Netherlands and Canada.
As per the protocol of the tournament, the players were not entitled to be present at the VIP lounge. But on the request of a few near and dear ones, Manpreet and a few players entered the area and were busy in signing autographs and clicking pictures with their fans.
But the players’ gesture didn’t go down well with the Hockey India’s CEO, Elena Norman who stormed into the restricted area and started yelling at the players to leave the place.
Other hospitality officials were too hurled with choicest of abuses, including the four-letter word, when they tried to intervene.
According to those who were present there, as soon as Norman saw the players, which included captain Manpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh and Krishan Pathak, she berated them saying,
“Get out from here. How dare you come here? Now just shut up and get out.”
When asked India captain Manpreet about the episode, he tried to defuse the situation:
“It was our own mistake that we went to the restricted area without our knowledge. It is not that we were taken there forcibly by someone. Anyways, when we realised our mistake we just came out.
Internal inquiry and complain
The event officials have taken the matter up and an unofficial complaint made.
Close sources state that, this is not the first time she has shown her abusive side.Top Odisha government officials too have been frustrated with her tantrums and demeaning behaviour since the start of the World Cup.
An internal Hockey India source said, that HI will conduct an internal inquiry post the tournament.
“This is a safeguarding matter so therefore the HI is not in a position to comment.” he said.
Who is Elena Norman?
Ms.Elena Norman is an Australian and is Hockey India’s first CEO. She was appointed in 2011, almost in secrecy. There is not much information available about her education qualifications or background. Her last job designation involved marketing cricket at Commune Sport and Entertainment in India.