Former administrator KPS Gill is miffed at International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) increasing ‘interference’ in the running of the game in the country and believes it is detrimental to the revival of India’s national sport.
“For the last two-three years, FIH have been interfering in Indian hockey. They first sent (Ric) Charlesworth here. India was ranked fifth then and now we are at 12th position.
“Their role in setting up Hockey India also raised so many questions,” Gill, the former IHF supreme said.
Last year, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had disbanded Gill-led Indian Hockey Federation and had formed an ad-hoc committee to run the hockey affairs in the country.
Recently India’s men and women associations merged to form Hockey India with A K Matto as its head. However, Gill later joined hands with Hockey India.
Hockey India is due to hold elections for the formation of a democratically elected body but Gill neither denied nor confirmed running for the post of president.
“I can not say anything at this stage. I realigned with hockey so that the national sport can be brought back on track but the pace is too slow,” he said.
Gill took potshots at current administrators saying that they care for just media attention.
“Here the problem is that people only care about handling media well. They just want fake publicity and hardly think about the game. People who think that they can make a difference, they must do it,” the former super cop said.
Gill also lambasted Sports Authority of India for not providing any help to the game in the country.
“The real problem is that SAI has failed miserably.
Crores of rupees have been spent on it but all it could get was third grade facilities and third rate coaches.
“We do not have even a single world-class practice centre, despite the fact that we are going to organise three major tournaments — Commonwealth Games, World Cup and Asiad — next year,” he said.
Also flaying the attitude of former Olympians and other hockey players, Gill said they never maintained dignity, which cricketers did beautifully.
“From Vijay Merchant, Dilip Sardesai to Sunil Gavaskar Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni, all have maintained dignity and that is why cricket touched great heights.
“And our hockey players took more interest in off-field activities and only played a blame game,” he said.