IOA members were adamant on throwing Gill out

April 28th, 2008 - 11:34 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) The 15-year reign of Kanwar Pal Singh Gill ended ignominiously Monday with the National Sports Federations (NSF) playing a key role in forcing him out. Gill was a mute spectator at the IOA Executive Committee emergency meeting as member after member expressed their displeasure over the way the hockey affairs were run.

The bribery scandal involving IHF secretary Jothi Kumaran, the members felt, brought a bad name for not only Indian sport but also the IOA.

One senior IOA official said if the apex body of Indian sports did not act now, the popular perception would be that all the national sports federations were corrupt.

“We had to send a message that what the IHF secretary-general did was shameful and it was not representative of Indian sport,” said the official, requesting anonymity.

Another federation chief said the NSFs had to voice their concern and make it clear that no federation could survive with a sullied image.

Gill spoke first and said he was not honour bound to quit over a questionable sting operation even as he condemned Jothi Kumaran for dragging the IHF into the bribery scandal.

After he expressed his views, Gill was asked to leave the meeting so that other members could say freely what they wanted to. The outgoing IHF chief, however, insisted on hearing them out.

All India Football Federation chief Priyaranjan Das Munsi, National Rifle Association of India president Digvijay Singh, Badminton Association of India president V. K. Verma, Athletics Federation chief Umrao Singh, Basketball Federation secretary-general Harish Sharma and Commonwealth Games Federation secretary-general Lalit Bhanot all had more or less the same refrain, that IOA should intervene and supersede the IHF.

The members, however, wanted the IHF elections to be held as early as possible, preferably within six months.

At the informal discussions before the meeting, a majority of members were upset at the highhandedness of Gill in running the hockey affairs and wanted IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi to act, citing the precedent that in the early 70s, the then IOA president Raja Bhalendra Singh had superseded the IHF at the instance of international federation. That was the time when the India went on to win the 1975 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

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