24 October, 2020

Matchstick Men

Indian hockey is now past it. The state must act, Gill must go.

Matchstick Men
Indian hockey didn't die in Santiago, where India lost to Great Britain. It died in India, in small pockets spread over the country, which used to be the breeding grounds of great players.

K.P.S. Gill, the Indian Hockey Federation president, must go, and immediately. We can't expect him to step down on moral grounds. He says he doesn't have an instant machine to produce instant results. But he's been around for 14 years. In the three Olympic Games after he took over the IHF reins, India didn't qualify for the semi-finals even once. And now we're out of the Olympic Games for the first time in 80 years. Gill has had enough opportunity to display signs of morality in those 14 years, but he didn't do that. Now he should not be allowed to stay on.

Fourteen years is time enough to create good teams; indeed, some good teams did come into existence in this period, but they were simply 'murdered'. In '98, when we won the Asian Games gold medal, we had a pretty decent bunch. Then India narrowly missed qualifying for the semi-finals of the 2000...


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