Desperate times demand desperate measures. A day after it lost to India in the quarterfinals of the Hockey World League Finals here the Belgium team, wanting to ensure a win in its next outing, tried to sneak into the Kalinga Stadium late at night before being convinced to return by police officials.
Police and federation officials confirmed that about 12-13 Belgian players had managed to scale their hotel boundary to dodge their security detail and walk up to the stadium before being intercepted.
“About 12 to 13 Belgian players had dodged hotel security at Sandy's Towers hotel, where they are staying, and walked down to the Kalinga Stadium. We got information about it and immediately rushed to the spot and persuaded them back,” Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrata Bhoi confirmed to Sportstar.
Federation officials too confirmed the incident and added that the players, who reportedly had black war-paint on their faces, were stopped at the main gate of the stadium around 1 am and prevented from entering the premises by the stadium security till police arrived at the spot. Apparently, the players hold a belief that if they revisit the venue of their loss unnoticed at night, they would win the next time they step on the field.
The police had to escort them back in their vans citing security threat. Olympic silver medalist Belgium had been shocked by the host in shootouts and will now take on Spain for the fifth spot on Saturday.