Players in the India team stepped out onto the pitch at the World Cup in Delhi on Saturday with the logo of construction materials company Shree Cement emblazoned on their sticks, in a move that seems to conflict with the team's sponsorship deal with conglomerate Sahara India.
Asian Sponsorship News reports that Shree Cement had announced a sponsorship deal with the team on Friday, which Hockey India representatives later said they were unaware of. Sahara India is the main sponsor of the team under a deal announced last year, and its rights include branding on team uniforms and equipment.
The International Hockey Federation said the team could not display the brand of any company not recognised by Hockey India.
All sponsors' eyes will be on the sticks used by the India players at their next match, against South Africa tonight at 8:35pm local time.