The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) has decided to knock the doors of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, after the Sports Ministry has refused to reimburse Rs 85.3 lakh spent by the IHF on national team's participation in five events between 2005 and 2008.
"The government should ensure fair play but in this case no government representative had appeared in the court. We are asking for out legitimate dues. They talk about solving problems in hockey but they have different yardsticks for IHF and Hockey India," former IHF president and presently an advisor, KPS Gill said.
"I will now write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi on this issue. We owe Rs 85.3 lakh to Sports Ministry and we must get it," he added.
The IHF had claimed reimbursement for hosting the 27th men's Champions Trophy (2005 in Chennai) and men's Asia Cup (2007 in Chennai), apart from coaching-cum-competition tour of Australia in 2008, participation in 2008 Olympic qualifiers at Santiago, Chile and for a four-nation tournament in Australia in 2008.
But the Delhi High Court has dismissed IHF's plea, saying that the central government is not bound to provide financial assistance to a National Sports Federation for organising or participating in every tournament and training camp.
Gill also criticised Hockey India for offering a paltry cash award of Rs 25000 to the players and support staff of the just-concluded Asian Champions Trophy-winning side.
He said that HI has money to pay high salaries to "non required" officials but has no money for players.
"On one hand they are insulting players by offering them such a paltry amount and on the other hand, they are paying about Rs 3.5 lakh each to HI's chief executive officer Elena Norman of Australia and executive director (Anupam Ghulati).
What is their contribution to Indian Hockey?" he asked.
He also indirectly blamed HI for not playing an active role in generating money for the game.
"We had arranged Rs 5 lakh through the sponsorships from various banks prior to 1994 Sydney World Cup. That amount was given to players before the tournament, where India finished fifth," Gill claimed.
He also said that during IHF regime the hockey players used to get handsome incentives.
"Each member of the junior team got Rs one lakh after winning the 2001 World Cup in Hobart, Australia. Senior team members were given Rs 50,000 each after winning the Asia Cup and Azlan Shah Cup in 2007. They also got the same amount after the Pakistan tour in 2006 where they managed to win a match and played two draw," Gill said.