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Gill blames FIH for qualifier loss

ibnlive.com
Mar 13, 2008 at 06:55pm IST

New Delhi: The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) President KPS Gill has put the entire onus on the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for India's failure to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.

Gill refused to blame the team's performance for the loss in the qualifying tournament at Santiago in Chile that saw India losing out a spot in Olympics hockey for the first time in 80 years.

He also hinted at appointing a foreign coach to prepare for 2012 Olympic Games and said the present team has an excellent bunch of players and are doing fine.

TOUGH NUT: Former IPS officer KPS Gill has been IHF chief for the past 14 years.

Instead the IHF chief, who has been facing a lot of flak for India's dismal performance, said that the FIH must change the present system of qualification and added that the defeat should be taken positively as it gives the team time to prepare for the 2012 London Olympics with single-minded dedication.

Calling former players, who have been demanding more professionalism in the IHF and better training for the players, 'professional mourners', Gill ruled out that he had any plans to quit.

In fact former skipper Dhanraj Pillay and former goalkeeper AB Subaiah have called for the resignation of Gill after the debacle.

“It's the worst day for Indian hockey. It's time to replace the top officials of the federation. IHF never tried to take the help of players like me who have played for the country so long,” Pillay said after India lost in the qualifiers.

Gill also revealed that the resignation of chief hockey coach Joaquim Carvalho has not been accepted. Carvalho had quit after the Indian hockey team failed to qualify for the Olympics.

Carvalho will be meeting Gill on March 18 to discuss the Olympics qualifier debacle in detail.

However, he accepted the resignation of IHF vice-president Narender Batra.

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