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Mar 12, 2008 at 11:28am IST

Indian hockey: Planning the road ahead

New Delhi: When the final hooter went off in Santiago on Sunday morning, a pall of gloom descended over India's hockey community. But now, perhaps, is the time for blaming voices and pointing fingers to give way to reason and do what can be done to lift Indian hockey from the depths it has fallen to.

"There should be a system like the BCCI, the president should change every three years,” suggested BCCI’s Vice President, Rajiv Shukla.

Some say that hockey has been so badly mismanaged that it is time for the government to take over. However, that is easier said than done.

Speaking to CNN-IBN, Union Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar admitted that since these bodies are autonomous, the government cannot do more than watch from the sidelines.

“If the Olympic Charter and the autonomy of the National Sports Federation are to be respected, then I cannot take the credit for the victory of the Indian team in Australia in cricket and for that same reason, I cannot take the debit for the failure of the Indian Hockey Team in Chile,” said Aiyar.

India have been left behind by stronger and faster teams, so clearly, a new approach is needed.

Experts are convinced that it is important to not just stem the rot but also use the top brains in the world game to try and revive it.

"All professional things should be tackled by the professional people - that's the demand of the time," said former national coach, M K Kaushik.

"We should really plan out for four years and we should really take a lot of help from Mr Ric Charlesworth," suggested India’s former Goal-Keeper, A B Subbiah.

India's next big challenge will come at the Commonwealth Games in two years time where they will have to perform in front of their fans in Delhi.