Aug 19, 2012

The saga continues, but do we need IHF and/or HI?

Once again an attempt is being made to solve the problem between hockey bodies, Indian Hockey Federation and Hockey India and decide who is going to be the National Sporting Federation of Indian hockey. This time, its a three member committee formed by Indian Olympic Association who will try to find an amicable solution between the two warring factions.

No to Indian Hockey Federation and No to Hockey India
The committee, was formed by the Indian Olympic Association last month, consists former Wrestling Federation of India president G S Mander, Indian Weightlifting Federation chief Birendra Prasad Baishya and Handball Federation of India Secretary General S M Bali. 

G S Mander who is also the vice-president of IOA said, 'The committee has been tasked to determine which one of the two is the legitimate body to run hockey in the country and which would be recognised by the IOA and FIH. It has been constituted under the directive of the FIH that the matter should be decided before the end of August.'

Its not the first time, someone has tried to solve the problem between Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation. Before this attempt, Sports Ministry and FIH have tried to solve the problems numerous times without any positive result. 

Leave the solution to this problem, the bigger question is, Do we even need Indian Hockey Federation or Hockey India?

In 2008 when Indian men team failed to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in the history, Suresh Kalmadi, the then IOA chief disbanded Indian Hockey Federation as they had brought 'dishonor to hockey'.

Indian Hockey Federation was a one man show, run by KPS Gill, who had say in everything. He was the one who would select the coach, select the team, orgainize tournaments. In short, he was the sole person running Indian hockey, like a dictator.

Then came Hockey India and everyone thought, the things will get different and hockey will be run in India in a professional way. Four year since that day, Hockey India has become was Indian Hockey Federation was, a one man show, now run by Narinder Batra. 

In last four years, Hockey India has done exactly the same as KPS Gill led Indian Hockey Federation had done for years. No doubt, Indian team under Hockey India has won bronze in Asian Games, silver in CWG, and won other small tournaments, but there were more negatives than positives under Hockey India (same was IHF). The players who questioned the wrong-doings of the board were thrown out of the team for speaking their mind and only Yes men who went along with Narinder Batra's wishes were in the team. 

IHF and HI might be two different bodies, but they have done the same things. The players were fired of speaking their mind, the coaches were fired even after doing well as they had spoken against the board. Both of them did not do anything to promote hockey in India, neglected the grass-root development hockey in India and used selectors used as puppets by the dictators (KPS Gill for IHF and Narinder Batra for HI) to force their wishes in team selection. 

So, what will IOA achieve by giving the command of Indian hockey to one of the two or both of them jointly when it is clear the none of them are good and have done nothing for the game. When will India realise that Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation are just two organizations who are only interested in grabbing the power and making money out of it. 

We clearly do not need Hockey India or Indian Hockey Federation, both are same, full of greedy power hungry people who are interested in raising their personal profile on the expense of hockey. 

If they continue to control Indian hockey, both these groups (or any one) will cause a big damage to Indian hockey and from which there will be no return to the golden days. The coaches will continue to suffer, the players will continue to suffer and the fans will continue to suffer (not that anyone cares). 

Dear Mr. Ajay Maken, if you by any chance happen to read this, please take a correct step and do not allow any of these sections to play with Indian hockey. The damage caused by the federations have been enough and Indian hockey cannot suffer anymore of these tortures.

Sincerely hope, IOA committee uses its brains and comes out with the solution which does not involve IHF and HI, cause they are certainly not the answer to hockey's problem in India.

P.S- Still do not know, why have we hired Australia's Elena Norman as Hockey India's CEO and what has she done till now deserve the salary of Rs. 2.5 lacs a month?

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