Former hockey Olympian Manohar Topno today blamed lack of infrastructure and rivalry between the Indian Hockey Federation and Hockey India as a major cause for Indian hockey’s declining standard, in the world stage.
Topno is the coach of the 18-member Jharkhand hockey team. that left for Bhopal to take part in the 1st senior national men’s hockey championship, being hosted by Hockey India from Friday.
Topno, also a selection committee member of Hockey India said, meritorious players were being left out of the Indian team due to rivalry between the two organizations, even though Hockey India has been recognized by the World body.
Suggesting that the two bodies resolve their differences in the larger interest of the game, as well as the country, a former right back Topno, who was a member of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Indian team, told PTI that Hockey India did not have adequate modern technology to monitor the games of leading countries, particularly the Europeans.
Citing an example, he said the coach of the Polland team called out a player, who was repeatedly missing opportunities to convert a penalty shot in the last World cup held at Delhi, during a brief break, and pointed out his flaw with suggestions to correct it.
” We do not have any such facility to improve our performance,” he lamented.
He also regretted the lack of adequate infrastructure for the game and said that the players of Hockey Jharkhand had to practice on a turf ground even though a world-standard astro-turf stadium exists in the state capital, Ranchi.
“The astro-turf stadium has only become a show-piece,” he said.
The charges fixed by the authorities to avail the astro-turf facility was beyond Hockey Jharkhand’s reach, he admitted while accusing that the stadium was being rented out for all purposes except hockey, which included wedding ceremonies.
Asked if India lacked talented coaches as it continued to rely on foreign coaches, Topno said, “We do not have a dearth of talented coaches, but we require foreign coaches due to the fast changing techniques as well as rules of the game.”