SPORT

Still clouded in contradictions

S. Thyagarajan

Chennai: The ad hoc committee is in place. What next? This is the question that confronts the hockey community concerned over the recent developments. The takeover by the Indian Olympic Association has not been without a hiccup or two.

Even granting that these administrative decisions are clouded in contradictions, especially when it comes to governance of sports bodies in India, a sense of déjÀ vu is inescapable.

Saddled as the chief functionaries of the IOA are with the impending Olympiad and the gigantic Commonwealth Games two years from now, the attention that Mr. Kalmadi and his team can pay to restructuring hockey will be negligible.

In composing administrative and selection ad hoc committees IOA has not been realistic.

It is incomprehensible why the IOA believes, or forces one to conclude, that nothing worthwhile exists behind the Vindhyas; whether in choosing the committee to govern or select teams. The only link with the disbanded IHF is Mr. Ravi Mehta of Uttaranchal. How much was he involved in the previous administration and was privy to the decisions taken are best left to guessing.

In the circumstances, the ad hoc committee has no member who could communicate effectively and convincingly with the constituent members.

At least two administrators, K. Krishnamurthy of Karnataka and Jesudanam of Andhra, who are aware of the ground realities and never flinched from raising their voice whenever they perceived administrative flaws in the IHF, can come into the reckoning.

Krishnamurthy has an impeccable record as an administrator in his state apart from his association with the IHF. A seasoned bureaucrat with the Andhra Pradesh Government, Jesudanam is another perfectionist who can give fresh inputs to the administration.

If the ad hoc committee is keen to clear the cobwebs and face the impending challenges, these two may be co-opted for support, and also balance the representation from the region.

At present it looks as though only those who used intemperate and tendentious language against K.P.S. Gill and K. Jothikumaran are being rewarded.

The challenges are plenty, and IOA must realise that every step it takes will be watched with critical interest.

The comedy that preceded the selection and departure of the team for the Azlan Shah tournament is a bad advertisement. Blaming Carvalho, or projecting conspiracy theories, will do nobody any good. It shows nothing has improved.

The best solution to break the spell of uncertainty is to convene the meeting of the units and frame modalities to put the administration back on the rails at the shortest possible time.

The FIH will be more than happy to acknowledge such a development if there is a consensus on Special India Project under Bob Davidzon, and for a more meaningful role for Ric Charlesworth with a mandate to select the teams till 2010 World Cup.

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