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Gill rubbishes allegations
Onkar Singh in Delhi | January 15, 2005 15:14 IST
Last Updated: January 15, 2005 21:06 IST
K P S Gill, president of the Indian Hockey Federation, described the allegations made by Gerhard Rach, former German coach of the Indian hockey team, as baseless and said all outstanding dues have been cleared and IHF does not owe a single penny to him.
"Pillay is one of the best players that the country has produced and it is wrong to say that he was selected at the behest of the Indian team sponsor. In the India - South Africa game in Athens, Pillay excelled and I would not hestitate to say that the game belonged to Pillay, so outstanding was his performance in this game. I am sure Pillay would himself reckon this as one of his best games. As far as whether he should call it a day is something that should be left to Pillay himself," Gill said.
He rubbished Rach's charge that the Indian Hockey Federation is a mad house.
"He made the remark on the basis of information that was fed to him by some newsmen during his 15-day stay in India. Rach does not know English and he made a wrong choice of words while talking about the IHF," Gill retorted.
Asked if he felt that the IHF had made a mistake by asking Rach to take over from Rajinder Singh, Gill said the IHF was forced to opt for Rach.
"No, I would not say that we had not made a mistake. But I would like to add that we had no choice after Rajinder Singh quit as the coach of the Indian team.
"I am saying quit. He was not forced to resign, as is being claimed in some of the statements attributed to Rajinder Singh in the media," he said.
When will the IHF appoint new coach? Will a foreign coach still be considered?
"We have sometime to think on the issue. We would look into the possibility of having both a foreign and Indian coach," Gill said.
He announced that he would not run for the post of president of the Indian Hockey Federation in 2006 after his present term comes to an end.
During the press conference Gill disclosed that the director of the International Olympic Committee had told him before the Sydney Olympic Games there was a move to drop hockey from team games but the record viewership for the game between India and Australia saved the day.
He said charges that the Indian team was selected under pressure from the sponsor were baseless.
"The selection of the team had begun long before Gerhard Rach arrived on the scene. When the team was being selected he was very much present and at that point of time Rach did not say anything about any particular player, including Dhanraj Pillay," he added.
Talking about the Premier Hockey League, currently being played in Hyderabad, Gill said he is happy that the game is spreading to more and more states.
"I am glad that eight to 10 states are now producing world-class players. But it would be even better if all the 35 units of the IHF procduced the same results in years to come," he said.
Gill lashed out at the media for giving wrong information to people and saying that more than 12 coaches have been sacked in last 12 years or so. He produced a list of six coaches, beginning with Zafar Iqbal, Cedric D'Souza, M K Kaushik, V Bhaskaran, Rajinder Singh and Gerhard Rach, and claimed that some of these coaches may have had more than one term, but that does not mean he began his assignment from scratch.