IHF president hits back at Sports Minister

April 25th, 2008 - 11:17 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) Under-fire Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) president K.P.S. Gill Friday slammed Sports Minister M.S. Gill’s suggestion that younger professionals should preside over the sports federations, saying age should not be the criteria to manage sports. In a stinging reply to his detractors, who had been demanding his resignation in the aftermath of the bribery scandal involving IHF secretary-general K. Jothi Kumaran, a belligerent Gill said he would not quit come what may. He also asked M S Gill not to talk about accountability since most sports ministers hardly have any knowledge about sports.

“I don’t think age has anything to do with managing sports. Let younger people first become sports ministers before suggesting anything,” an angry K.P.S. Gill told CNN-IBN.

“Most of them (ministers) don’t know anything about sports. They have never done anything for hockey,” he added.

“What have these government bodies done for us? Where have they ever provided us with funds or facilities? They call it the national game, and do nothing for it,” an angry Gill said.

Gill has been under pressure to resign as IHF president after India failed to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in 80 years. The demand was renewed in the wake of the bribery scandal with Members of Parliament, the Sports Minister and several former players joining the chorus for his ouster.

However, a defiant Gill lashed out at the government functionaries saying except Uma Bharti no other sports minister had done anything for hockey.

“M.S. Gill has joined as sports minister only a few days ago. Apart from Uma Bharti no other sports minster had any interest in sports. They were just busy in occupying the chair. She (Uma Bharati) has helped in laying a synthetic turf in Bhopal. Mr Aiyar (Mani Shankar) wasn’t even available to meet,” said Gill.

The IHF president also questioned the credibility of the sting operation conducted by a TV channel.

“Am I to resign based on a concocted sting operation, or simply because some players or a section of the media wants me to? India is a democratic country and I am not going to resign when I haven’t done anything wrong,” he said.

The IHF president asserted that the Indian Olympic Association’s emergency meeting Monday to discuss hockey matters will have no impact on his decision not to step down. “Let them meet, I have made it clear, I am not resigning.”

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