Cricket is setting a dangerous trend in the country, says Gill

July 18th, 2008 - 8:10 pm ICT by IANS  

By Avishek Roy
Hyderabad, July 18 (IANS) President of the superseded Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) K.P.S. Gill said Friday that corporate sponsorship in cricket is detrimental for the growth of other sports in the country. Gill, who is also the vice-president of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF), said he was pained to see the dangerous trends set by cricket sponsors and the only way out for a game like hockey is to get government patronage.

“It is very easy to say that hockey is our national game, but we are doing nothing for it. The government has some responsibility. In China and Cuba all the sports programmes are totally financed by the government. In India, all the corporate money is going to cricket, which is dangerous, as other sports too should get a piece of the cake,” Gill told IANS in an interview.

The Gill-led IHF was dissolved by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in April after its secretary-general K. Jyothikumaran was caught on by a television camera negotiating a cash-for-selection deal. The IHF was also accused of not doing much for the development of the sport, resulting in the eight-time Olympic gold medallists’ failure to qualify for the Beijing Games for the first time in 80 years.

After dissolving the IHF, the IOA set up an ad-hoc committee to run the sport with IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi as its chairman.

It is also alleged that Gill tried to create obstacles in the working of the ad hoc committee, but he he refuted the charge and stated that he is not at war with the (IOA). “If there are any issues they could be settled through a dialogue.”

Gill, who came here to attend the meeting of the AHF as its vice-president, said the IHF had certain role in mind for Australian Ric Charlesworth, but it was unfortunate that the IOA did not consult him on the issue.

He was also happy his proposal to have an Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) was accepted.

“We discussed a lot of issues at the AHF council meeting. I suggested the holding of the Asian Champions Trophy. Let’s see how it goes,” Gill said.

The top four teams of the Asia Cup will participate in the ACT from a field of 12.

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