The Hockey Muddle

Both FIH as well as IHF seem geared up to bury Indian hockey in a muddle. Our administrators’ ‘cool’ attitude is drowning the team, which has tried to come up with its sweat but to no avail.

I don’t know what is going on in the minds of hockey administrators worldwide. The Federation of International Hockey (FIH) recently said that India might loose the opportunity to host the 2010 world cup. The FIH is worried at India’s falling standards and despite devising a ‘Promoting Indian Hockey’ project, the country has failed to rise above the bar. The decision was taken at the Executive Board meeting of the Indian Hockey Federation.

The hockey, which is already in the cold after failing to qualify for the Olympics, this could be the final blow to revival of Indian hockey. “I will respond to these things at a later stage. We do not have an instant coffee machine that you can get results immediately. It takes time to regain your position. We have put down the process in place and the results will take some time,” was the reply of KPS Gill after the debacle at Chile. Even now, he is only worried about his job and only God knows what these administrators are doing!

Gill has given a very good reply against the threat of FIH. He seemed hardly perturbed by FIH’s threat to consider moving the 2010 world cup (hockey) out of India if his Federation did not get its act together. “We are prepared if the world cup is not held in India. We have not had the world cup here for ages,” he said. Isn’t that a ‘too cool’ attitude? Being cool is perhaps the mantra of Gill towards Indian hockey. But I just want to say that Gill had no right to ridicule the players who play for the country by dint of their merit. They are selected and not elected! A player is selected based on his merit only, while any stupid person can win elections.

The Sports Minister, Mani Shankar Aiyar, is also behaving like a fool and is refraining from any interference with the hockey. I have a question for him, “Why did you demote hockey from the list of priority sports’ last year, when you had no power?” Even the die-hard optimist is pretty sure that the administration of the game will not change, unless we heed the advice of CPI Member of Parliament, Gurudas Dasgupta, who has said that the only way to save the game is to physically throw out Gill and his honchos from managing the game.

The FIH has issued warning but when asked about the reason behind their concerns they were clueless. There were several concerns, but we will not communicate the exact details was the answer of the FIH communications manager, Arjen Meijer. The decision also questions the intent of FIH. It is not sure whether they are really doing this for well being of the hockey. Just because they have failed to implement a directive of FIH, they will not be allowed to host the world cup. Question is – Whether world cups were allotted on such basis for all other countries too or is it only India that has been given this condition? To the best of my knowledge, World Cups in all sports are allotted on the criteria of rotation, good ground venues, easy transportation from overseas as well within the host country and proper accommodation for the participants. The FIH is acting as a bully and I have just no idea why is it so? What are the motives behind this? Probably our media can help us out.

The FIH and IHF are sailing in the same boat. Both are determined to bury the Indian hockey.

Rishabh Srivastava

[image courtesy:]