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Aslam Sher flays KPS Gill
August 25, 2005 20:25 IST
The voices of dissent against Indian Hockey Federation chief K P S Gill appear to be growing, with a national selector blaming the former Punjab super cop of making a "complete mockery" of the selection process.
"The entire selection process has been made into a farce. The IHF is nothing but a one-man show being run by Gill," Aslam Sher Khan, a former Union minister and player-turned-selector, said in an interview in Delhi on Thursday.
Khan, an accomplished full-back in his playing days, said Gill should take the "blame and responsibility" for the team's dismal run in the recent Rabobank Trophy, where it finished a lowly seventh. Pakistan won the tournament, beating Olympic champions Australia 4-3 in pulsating final.
"The selectors are nothing but puppets in the hands of Gill. We are there just for namesake. It is Gill who dictates what the team should be and he only drops the players as and when he feels like.
"Only God knows and Gill knows who will make it to the team."
Khan, one of the six members of the selection panel, which also includes Gill and IHF secretary K Jothikumaran, said the IHF chief should be made accountable for the team's performances.
"The government, which pumps in nearly Rs 40 lakh for every tournament, should ask an explanation from Gill for the mess that Indian hockey finds itself in today.
"But it appears the government has closed its eyes; it is not bothered despite the fact that it is their money and prestige which are at stake."
Khan also rued the fact that there is no fixed tenure for selectors.
"The committee was formed in 2004 and we were told that we have been appointed as selectors. Till date, we do not know what is our tenure; is it for a two-year period or more?
"Just before the start of every tournament we are handed letters saying we have been made selectors for the particular event.
"We are made to watch the performance of the players for a couple of hours and then we are told: 'this would be the team'."
Khan said because of the dictatorial ways of the IHF boss, there was no guarantee for any player of his place in the team.
"Because the players feel insecure, it leads to various problems. Talks about there being a rift in the team are also because of this.
"How can you expect the children to be disciplined if the parent himself is indisciplined?
Asked if there is a need to change the captain, Aslam said he did not think such a move would pay any dividend.
"[Dilip] Tirkey has been playing for almost 10 years now. Age is catching up with him; he is bogged down by problems of his own as his performance has not been up to the mark recently. If the captain himself is struggling how can you expect him to motivate the team? At the same time, when the entire team is not performing, you cannot blame the captain."