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It was a painful decision: Kalmadi

April 28, 2008 21:10 IST

Suresh Kalmadi, president of the Indian Olympic Association and chairman of the Commonwealth Games Organising committee to be held in New Delhi in 2010, said that it was a painful decision to suspend the Indian Hockey Federation and see the exit of former super cop K P S Gill as the president of the ailing Federation.

"We had given an opportunity to Gill sahib for whom we all have a great respect for what he did in Punjab as a supercop. Gill spoke at length about the going on within the Federation and wanted to hear out former secretary Jothikumaran but the latter chose not to come. Almost all the members who participated in the deliberations spoke against Gill. IOA favours cleanliness in sports. Under the relevant provisions of the IOA charter a resolution was passed to suspend IHF," he said.

Kalmadi claimed out of five member committee appointed by Gill to inquire into Jothikumaran incident three had resigned from the committee and had asked for resignation of Gill. He thanked the new sports minister M S Gill for bringing hockey back in the focus by promising more money. He clarified that the names of five former Olympians did not mean that they would run the affairs of the Indian hockey federation.

Aslam Sher Khan has been recommended to head the five-member selection committee with the help of Australian legend Ric Charlesworth. Other four members of the selection committee are Ashok Kumar, Ajit Pal Singh, Dhanraj Pillay and Zafar Iqbal.

"I would announce the names of the committee that would run the affairs of the Indian Hockey Federation soon," Kalmadi said. He denied that the action had been taken under pressure from the innternational body controlling the world hockey.

FIH had threatened to take away the 2010 World Cup if no action was taken to set things right. He hoped that this would send right message to all the federations who have been asked to present their financial accounts within a week to IOA.

Raja Randhir Singh, who is tipped to take over from supercop, said that this was not the first time that IOA had stepped in.

" Normally we do not like to interfere into the day-to-day running of the federations unless it becomes necessary," Randhir Singh told rediff.com in an exclusive conversation.

Asked if the IOA continue to look after the affairs of IHF and not call for elections, Raja Randhir Singh, secretary general of the of IOA said that this was not the intention of the parent body.

"We shall call for as soon as things smoothen out," he said. He refused to call a spade a spade by saying that that the sports minister Gill had toppled supercop Gill.

"This is for you to decide. It is sad that a decision had to be taken against such an eminent personality and a colleague of ours," he said.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi