Hockey federation chief keeps mum on debacle

March 10th, 2008 - 1:46 pm ICT by admin  


New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) Indian Hockey Federation Chief K.P.S. Gill Monday declined to comment on the team’s shocking loss to Great Britain in the qualifiers that kept it out of the Olympics for the first time in 80 years. Gill said he would issue a statement only after the team returns home.

“I’ll issue a statement after the coaches (the team) are back,” Gill told IANS.

India lost 0-2 to Great Britain in the final of the Olympic qualifying tournament in Santiago, Chile, dashing their hopes to qualify for the Beijing Olympics this year.

Within minutes of the defeat, which will surely go down as one of the darkest chapters in Indian hockey, coach Joaquim Carvalho announced that he was stepping down along with his assistants Mohinder Pal Singh and Ramesh Parameswaran.

It marked the first time the eight-time Olympic gold medallists will stay out of the Games. India won the Olympic hockey gold six times in a row from 1928 to 1956. They lost the final in 1960, but regained the gold in 1964 at Tokyo. In 1968 and 1972 India returned with bronze medals. In the truncated Olympics in 1980, India won the gold one last time. Since then India have failed to make the semi-finals of the mega-event. This time, they have failed to even get there.

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