SPORT

Rajinder Singh wasn't sacked: Gill

NEW DELHI, JULY 24. The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) President, K. P. S. Gill, dismissed the talk of `money angle' in the removal of Rajinder Singh as the coach of the team for Athens Olympic Games.

"They are all rumours. There was nothing of that sort. Money played no role in the selection of team (in which Rajinder Singh was left out),'' Gill said here on return from Germany.

"Who has said that he (Rajinder Singh) has retired? Who said that Rajinder has been sacked?'' was how Gill reacted when asked to specify the reasons for Rajinder Singh's removal.

"We may re-induct him anytime in future,'' Gill said.

The IHF President said that the talk of money changing hands in the U. S. was a figment of imagination. "That kind of money for hockey can't be raised in the U.S.,'' he said.

At the start, Gill went about explaining the entire process of selection, the fitness camp in Arizona and the humiliating defeats in the four-nation Rabobank Cup tournament in Holland. Throughout, he avoided making any comments on the Rajinder Singh's removal. But when asked to clarify on certain issues, Gill retorted, "are we going to look at the Olympic preparations or talk about what happened in the past?

"In fact we discussed it with Rajinder before finalising the team,'' he said adding that the decision was taken so that team could be more cohesive.

The Indian team is currently in Leverkusen, Germany where it will play exhibition matches against Ireland and a few German club teams. From there it will head for Athens on August 8.

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