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Home > Sports > Hockey > PTI > Report

Players slam IHF for publicity, says Gill

September 01, 2006 20:46 IST

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Slamming the Indian Hockey Federation is an easy way to gain cheap publicity, says its chief K P S Gill.

Asked why the IHF is criticized by players regularly, Gill replied that they were exploiting the media for their own benefit.

"Some four or five players find it an easy way to get publicity," he said, at a press conference in Delhi on Friday, without naming any player.

Gill said some sections in the media also indulge in "negative" journalism and always find fault with the IHF.

Asked when the IHF would name the replacement for injured drag-flicker Sandeep Singh, Gill said the announcement would be made in a day or two.

On the recent visit of International Hockey Federation (FIH) chief Els Van Breda Viersman to India, Gill said the FIH people were in the country to discuss some developmental aspects of Indian hockey.

"They were here as a part of the International Olympic Committee's initiative to earmark funds to study Indian hockey and depute somebody to study whatever changes could be possible," he said, adding it is in a very preliminary stage.

Gill expressed confidence with the preparations of the Indian hockey team for the World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany, starting next week.

"The team is well prepared for the tournament. But it is unfortunate to lose Sandeep Singh. But the players are motivated to counter it and give their best," he said.

Meanwhile, India is likely to host Belgium for a hockey Test series in late November.

In its pursuit to provide more exposure to the team, the IHF is trying to arrange some series, but a clash in dates of different commitments are posing hurdles, IHF secretary K Jothikumaran said.

"We are trying to organise a Test series against Belgium. We wanted it in early November, but since their side has some club engagements they are agreeing to play after November 15," he said, adding a four-nation tournament is also on the cards.

About the nature of the Belgium series, he said, "It could be a three or four-match series. It will fall before the Asian Games. But let's see."

On India's chances at the upcoming World Cup, Jothikumaran said the first match in the pool stage will be crucial.

"We have a tough pool. If we do well in the first match against Germany then we hold a good chance. Fortunately, the record is in our favour," he said.

Jothikumaran will be in Germany during the World Cup, where he will interact with International Hockey Federation officials regarding development of the sport in the country.

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