SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — India’s women’s field hockey team are poised to compete in the Olympic Games for the first time in 36 years, however, the players have not been afforded the proper amount of training sessions due to poor management by the Sports Authority of India.

The last time India’s women’s team competed in an Olympic Games was at the 1980 Moscow Games.

Amongst a multitude of issues, the team was not provided with the proper grounds to prepare on — should the team have received a dedicated synthetic turf field at Bhopal, their prospects of winning an Olympic medal would have far greater. The blue turf, specifically laid in Bhopal, is similar to that of the one that will be used during the upcoming Rio Games, however, bickering amongst SAI officials resulted in the team not getting an opportunity to use the facility.

“The team was diverted to Bangalore where men’ team was already practicing,” Indian hockey coach Joaquim Carvalho said. “When two teams are made to practice on a single turf then coach’s plans of training go haywire, it not only unsettles the team but also adversely affects the overall performance of players.”

To add insult to injury, the process of laying the synthetic turf had been ongoing since last year. While the process was complete, the team never saw the surface. The main reason reportedly being the PMG committee, including former Olympian Jalaluddin Rizvi, pointed out several defects in the turf laid down by Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam and a Hong Kong based company providing the turf.

Holes on the playing surface and the absence of bitumen were pointed out by multiple members of the committee and conveyed to the higher-ups in Delhi. The SAI were informed players practicing on the turf could lead to severe injuries because of its defects.

Roque Dias, the SAI’s regional director, refused to pay the companies who had laid the turf because of the alleged shoddy work. Dias was ultimately warned that failing to release payment was adversely affecting the project, however, he said accounts with the monies had been frozen by the department therefore leaving him powerless for a period of eight days.

Dias said a payment would constitute a serious violation without the defects first being rectified.