Hockey scandal is tip of iceberg, feel OlympiansApril 22nd, 2008 - 4:25 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) secretary-general Kandaswamy Jothikumaran’s 15-year-old tenure has ended after a TV channel showed clips showing him taking bribe for manipulating team selection, but Olympians feel that he is just the proverbial “tip of the iceberg”. A day after the Aaj Tak channel telecast its sting operation late Monday, Olympians were fuming and demanded IHF president K.P.S. Gill’s ouster as well to save the game from further ignominy.
Hockey, India’s national sport, has already been down in doldrums after the men’s team failed to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in 80 years.
“Till 1960, Indian hockey was in good hands and we dominated the world, but that year when India lost to Pakistan in the Rome Olympics, the reigns of Indian hockey went to the police officers of Punjab. In a way Punjab is the culprit for the present fate of Indian hockey,” former selector Aslam Sher Khan told IANS Tuesday.
“The worst time in the history of Indian hockey was when Gill became the (IHF) president in 1994. He raped the national sport. Jothikumaran is just the tip of the iceberg,” he added.
The TV channel showed Jothikumaran accepting money from undercover reporters to include an unnamed player in the national team for the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament in Malaysia next month.
The IHF secretary-general was shown receiving Rs.200,000 in cash and then asking for Rs.300,000 more to be given to his “man” in Delhi in return of the favour.
Former captains Pargat Singh and Dhanraj Pillay called for criminal proceedings and a full investigation against the tainted IHF general secretary.
“I can’t imagine anything more shameful. The name of Indian hockey has been rubbed in the dust. A CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) inquiry should be conducted and he should be arrested immediately,” said Singh.
“People who taint the sport in this way should be given maximum punishment. All my life I have lived for hockey, so if anything disgraceful happens to the sport, it is really painful.”
Pillay looks at the brighter side of the affair. “This gives the government a chance to clean the mess in our hockey. It should open the eyes of those at the top.”
Ashok Kumar, son of legendry Dhyanchand, says the sports ministry should wake up and intervene in the affairs of IHF. Former national coach Rajinder Singh Junior also demanded an overall revamp of the federation.
“We wait for such incidents to happen to react. The IHF should immediately be dissolved and government should intervene directly,” said Kumar, a member of 1972 and 1976 Olympic team.
“If the government is helpless, then what is the point in having a sports ministry?” he asked.
Rajinder Singh added: “These things should not happen. The entire federation is responsible for the incident. There should be an overall revamping of the federation and new people and those connected with the game should be at the helm of affairs.”
However, there was no reaction from the IHF, with its president Gill saying that he would comment later.
“I will not say anything at this moment. I will call a press conference in two-three days,” Gill said.
Significantly, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has provisionally allotted the 2010 World Cup to Delhi. It remains to be seen if the fate of the World Cup would be affected by the sting operation as Jothikumaran was in charge of organising the tournament.
- IHF rejects IOA's three-member panel - Aug 30, 2012
- Gill turns down merger proposal with HI - Jun 24, 2011
- Reinstated by court, Gill vows to be back in action - May 21, 2010
- IHF and IWHF form joint body, to hold election in October - Aug 12, 2010
- FIH gives a month to HI and IHF to work out merger formula - Feb 26, 2012
- FIH president Negre to meet HI, IHF next week - Apr 07, 2012
- Indian Hockey Federation open to merger with 'Hockey India' - Jun 06, 2010
- Sports ministry calls HI and IHF to form unified hockey body - Jun 09, 2011
- IHF, IWHF call special general meeting for merger - Aug 11, 2010
- Gill vows to fight back after High Court quashes IOC order - May 21, 2010
- Hockey India and Gill-led IHF join hands for merger - Jun 14, 2009
- Ajit Pal named Chef-de-Mission for London Olympics - Apr 02, 2012
- Sports Minister Maken will try to convince Negre - Sep 12, 2011
- Hockey Olympic gold medallists to get cash awards - Jun 15, 2012
- 2000 Sydney Olympics: Controversies affect India's chances (Sports Special) - Jul 22, 2012
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