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IHF blames IOA for Olympics hockey debacle

Source: PTI
August 30, 2012 20:18 IST

The beleaguered Indian Hockey Federation came down heavily on the Indian Olympic Association for the hockey team's poor show at the London Olympics and denounced the three-member committee set-up by it to look into the running of the Indian hockey.

The IOA had earlier in June formed a three-member committee, headed by G S Mander, former president of the Wrestling Federation of India, to look into the ongoing slugfest between the Hockey India (HI) and the IHF.

- London Olympics - complete coverage

However, the IHF on the eve of its meeting with the committee, dubbed it as "biased and unconstitutional".

"The acting president of the IOA (Vijay Kumar Malhotra) unilaterally constituted a three-member special committee headed by G S Mander, with B P Baishya and S M Bali as its members without the approval of the Executive or the General Body and against the constitution of the IOA itself," read a statement from the IHF.

"We have grave apprehension of bias since these members were part of the IOA that disaffiliated IHF. The committee should include independent members as the present set-up is not expected to act in an impartial and unbiased manner," it added.

The federation alleged that the international governing body for the sport, FIH, was remote controlling the country's sport and accused it of hampering the growth of Indian hockey.

"A pro-active FIH in its zeal to make money for themselves is not only protecting (the) illegally formed Hockey India, but is also running the HI with remote control in their hands," IHF said.

"Misleading propaganda by the FIH for the last three to four years has not only added confusion but has also adversely effected the progress of India hockey," the statement added.

The IHF held both the IOA and Hockey India for country's miserable show in the Olympics and said the national interest was put at stake while selecting the team for the sporting extravaganza.

The federation also pointed out that some of the deserving players were deliberately ignored for the Olympics because of their affiliation with the World Series Hockey (WSH).

"HI acted in vindictive manner and deliberately ignored the deserving Indian players like Rajpal Singh, Arjun Halappa, Prabhjot Singh, Gurjinder Singh, Roshan Minz, Lalit Upadhay, Manjit Kulu, Bharat Chikara and Tyron Perreira who all played in the WSH League.

"All these players were in the core group of probables for the Olympics but unfortunately they were victimised for playing in the WSH at the cost of the national team.

"The IOA remained a silent spectator to all this tragedy. The government of India also did not react. If Pakistan in their national interest could include their players who participated in the WSH, then why were Indian players who played in the league not included," the IHF asked.

Holding Australian coach Michael Nobbs equally responsible for the debacle, IHF said, "Sadly, we have outsourced the management, administration, coaching, planning and everything else concerning Indian hockey to a private body called Hockey India and a few Australians, both of whom are not answerable to the Indian tax payers."

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