chapter  6
22 Pages

‘The Fall of Rome’: The Fall and Decline of Indian Hockey

In contrast to the upbeat nature of hockey in colonial and early post-colonial India,4 the period since the late 1970s presents a rather dismal picture. As early as 1976, World Hockey magazine in an article analyzing this decline decided to define it with the pathosridden headline, ‘The Fall of Rome’.5 India performed miserably in the Olympics and the Champions’ Trophy in the 1980s and 1990s. In the eight-nation tournament in Holland in August 2005, the Indian hockey team finished a dismal seventh.6 It was only in the 2007 Asia Cup that Indian hockey demonstrated possibilities of a resurgence, winning the competition by defeating arch-rivals Korea 7-2 in the final.7