Aslam Sher Khan lauds IOA’s decision

April 28th, 2008 - 10:52 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) Olympian Aslam Sher Khan, chairman of the newly-appointed hockey selection committee, lauded the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) decision to dissolve the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and sack its chief K.P.S. Gill, and said the move will give a fresh lease of life to the sport. The IOA executive committee at an emergency meeting here Monday dissolved the IHF after its secretary-general K. Jothikumaran was caught red-handed in a TV sting for accepting bribe to select a player in the national team.

The IOA named a five-member selection committee with Australian Ric Charlesworth as its advisor and will later appoint a five-member ad-hoc committee to run the day to day affairs of the sport.

“I thank the IOA for taking such a crucial step to imbibe life back to the national sport. All former hockey players will be relieved and happy with this decision,” Khan, a former Member of Parliament, told IANS.

“I will meet the IOA president and secretary-general tomorrow to know what exactly they want from us and then we will use our experience to give our services back to the game.”

Khan also said that the IOA has taken the right step by choosing Olympians in the selection committee.

“The IOA has done a great job by involving sportspersons in the management of hockey. It is for the first time in the game’s history that former players have been involved in the day-to-day affairs,” he added.

Khan said being an autonomous body, it was not easy for the IOA to suspend the IHF.

He felt that job was made easier by the Federation of International Hockey’s (FIH) which Sunday sent a letter threatening to scrap the promotion of Indian Hockey Project and the 2010 World Cup, if the IOA failed to clean up the mess within the IHF.

“I think it was a fair decision on the IOA’s part. The decision was due for long but being an autonomous body, it was not easy for the IOA. The FIH’s warning made it easier for the IOA.”

Khan, who always has been a sharp critic of the IHF president, said: “I still think Gill should have left the post gracefully as it is an honorary position and not meant for reaping benefits.”

Besides Khan, the other members of the five-member selection committee include Ashok Kumar, son of legendary Dhyanchand, Ajit Pal Singh, Zafar Iqbal and Dhanraj Pillay.

The meeting also decided to appoint Australian Ric Charlesworth as adviser to the selection committee.

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