New Delhi: A day after Hockey India (HI) elections were deferred by the Rajasthan High Court, former India Captain Pargat Singh has lambasted India Olympic Association (IOA) Chief Suresh Kalmadi saying the mess in Indian hockey is caused by none other than Kalmadi himself.
Pargat said people like Kalmadi are running a "sports mafia" in the country and HI is not interested in holding the elections because the IOA chief failed to get a nomination from Maharashtra.
”I was humiliated for 10 days on the affiliation issue. Kalmadi is responsible for the mockery in Indian hockey because Kalmadi did not get nomination for the elections, they have been deferred. You can call them the sports mafia or whatever. This mockery has been at the instance of Mr Kalmadi. There is a lot of manipulation and calculation in the elections. These people are not concerned with the embarrassment it will cause in the World Cup hockey", said Singh.
"Kalmadi sent his men to me for a negotiation. They said that Punjab will get the affiliation, if you accept Kalmadi as president of HI. I said I don't want to be part of such trade-off. I was made to run around for 10 days for the affilitaion," Singh claimed.
However, Suresh Kalmadi while talking to CNN-IBN said, “I was never in the race to become Hockey India president. I am the head of IOA and running the Commonwealth Games, I do not have the time for hockey. Whatever Pargat is saying is a figment of imagination. I do not want to react to whatever he is saying. Affiliation was given to Hockey Punjab when their papers were in order, what is he talking about? I am really surprised by the allegations of Pargat Singh.”
The HI elections scheduled for February 7 were postponed yet again on Saturday following a stay order from the Rajasthan High Court over the affiliations granted to state units January 11.