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IHF should be more transparent: Iqbal
May 04, 2004 18:51 IST
Coming down heavily on the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) for excluding seniors like Dhanraj Pillay from the list of 30 Olympic hopefuls, former captain Zafar Iqbal on Tuesday said the IHF should have shown a "professional" approach instead of giving them a "raw deal".
"It (IHF) should be more professional in its approach. Everything should be transparent and one person should not dictate terms," the former left-winger said.
"If Pillay is saying that he is fit, he should have been given a chance. He should be named for the four-nation meet or the fitness camp where he could have proved whether he is fit enough to play or not. He should have been tested," Iqbal said.
"The seniors certainly got a raw deal and their absence would be a jolt to the team. The IHF's job is to improve the standard of the game in the country. By doing such things, they are only sending wrong signals," he said.
"If they do not want Pillay to play any more, they should tell him openly instead of doing such things. They should be clear about what they want and not indulge in such negative tactics.
"I think there is more to his omission than what meets the public eye," Iqbal said.
The former captain also ridiculed IHF's decision to continue experimenting with the national team despite Olympics being just three months away.
"I don't think it has worked. We are yet to find a replacement for Jugraj Singh. Their attempt to find a schemer in place of Pillay also did not materialise.
"We must field a balanced side for the Olympics and such experiments are doing no good to our Olympic hopes."
Iqbal said he does not see any justification behind IHF's decision to pick only those players for the Olympics who can play for the entire duration of a match.
"No one can play for the entire 70 minutes. And for a forward, it's just not possible. The amount of running a forward does in a match, if he can run for even 50 minutes it's more than enough.
"With the game becoming so fast, if one can play for 25 minutes at a stretch, it should serve the purpose," he said.
Iqbal also said the chief coach and coach should play an active role in developing a conducive atmosphere in the team.