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Demotion from 'priority' list won't affect hockey: Gill

Last updated on: May 10, 2007 19:36 IST

Unperturbed by the Sports Ministry's decision to demote the national game, the Indian Hockey Federation on Thursday, said the decision would not have much of an impact on the sport because the IHF hardly gets any assistance from the Ministry.

"I don't think it's going to have much of an impact on Indian hockey. It only means that you will get less fund and we have not been getting much assistance from the Ministry anyway. So in real terms, it is not going to have much effect on the game," IHF president KPS Gill said.

Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar told Parliament on Wednesday that men's hockey has been "demoted" from the 'Priority' to the 'General' category because of the continuous poor performance of the team in all major tournaments.

Along with men's hockey, the Sports Ministry also downgraded football, taekwondo, swimming, cycling, volleyball, fencing and karate.

Squash, Wushu and kayaking/canoeing are the three disciplines which were promoted to the 'Priority' category.

Squash was made one of the priority sports in the wake of India achieving its first medal through Saurav Ghosal in the 2006 Asian Games held in Doha.

Gill was not ready to call it a setback towards the IHF hosting the 2010 World Cup either.

"I don't see it as a setback as such. We are hosting it in the same year as the Commonwealth Games, which means infrastructure would be ready by the time we host it here. So that's not an issue," he said.

Gill, however, believes that the Ministry did not do the right thing by going by a few tournaments to demote the game.

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