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IOA to discuss hockey debacle with IHF
December 14, 2006 20:06 IST
The alarming slide in the fortunes of Indian hockey has finally caught the attention of the Indian Olympic Association, and it now plans to discuss the worrying trend with the caretakers of the game in the country.
IOA president Suresh Kalmadi on Thursday admitted that the recent performances of the team are cause for concern and promised to discuss the issue with Indian Hockey Federation officials.
"There is no doubt that hockey has gone down a bit. I will be speaking to the IHF chief (K P S Gill) when I return to India and see what can be done," Kalmadi told reporters in Doha.
He said International Hockey Federation president Els van Breda Vriesman met him during the Asian Games and expressed concern at the situation.
"She met me here and talked about it. I have promised her that I will speak to the IHF people when I return home," Kalmadi said.
The IOA chief, however, described India's overall performance at the Doha Asian Games as "good", but added that there is scope for a lot of improvement.
"We have crossed the 50-medal mark, which is better than any Asian Games' performance. The medals have been spread across various disciplines," he pointed out.
Kalmadi also informed that Delhi has emerged a front runner to host the next edition of the men's hockey World Cup in late 2009 or early 2010.
''We will be hosting some important international meets before the Commonwealth Games (in 2010) and it will also include World Cup hockey, which is likely to be held in 2009.
''Hockey is our national game and it is our duty to promote it. We are going to have more talks with the FIH regarding hosting of the World Cup,'' Kalmadi said, adding the FIH president, along with other officials, will visit India soon to discuss the matter.
''I am confident that we will have a very good sponsor for it and if need be Commonwealth Games Organising Committee will also contribute; I don't think hosting the World Cup will be a problem.
''We have got a very good response from the FIH but every thing will be clear by next year,'' he said, adding hosting of the World Cup will be a good to kickstart for the Commonwealth Games.
Told that as per the new FIH rules, only the sponsor can decide the venue of the World Cup, Kalmadi replied, ''The talks in this regard (to have the sponsor) is going on and even the Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee may pump in some money for the World Cup.''
Doha Asian Games 2006: The Complete Coverage