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Former hockey captain threatens to go on hunger strike over management issues

June 1, 2011 - New Delhi

Former hockey captain Pargat Singh on Wednesday threatened to go on strike over management issues and discrepancy in the organisation heading the national hockey team.

Hockey Federation has been mired in controversies over the last few years, as there has been a long-standing tussle between Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) over the management of sportspersons.

Singh said it is necessary for the sports authority and other organisations related to hockey to find a solution for better functioning.

"If there can be a campaign called 'Save Tigers' then why not 'Save Hockey'? And if this does not happen, then we will sit on a hunger strike on 29th August. This is enough, a lot of things have happened, and in the last 6-8 months," Singh told mediapersons here.

"I have been associated with the sport and its administration for the last 25-30 years. And I have said that we should do something for the sport. But there is no end to the prevailing problems," he added.

Singh further said the officials overlooking the national game have gone off-track in achieving their target, and the game should be given its due status.

"When we talk about the national game, there is a code of conduct for all national, like national anthem, national flag, even national bird. But, there is a national game and there is so much chaos, as someone says go there, and the other says something," said Singh.

"The base level of hockey is confused because on one hand Hockey India Federation is organising tournaments and on the other Hockey India is organising other competitions," he added.

The former hockey player also criticized former Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) President KPS Gill and former Chairman of the 19th Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Suresh Kalmadi.

"Sometime ago, I had spoken about K. P. S. Gill, who was the then-President of Hockey India Federation, and approximately one year ago I had talked about Kalmadi, and today it is being proved that he is indeed a sports mafia. But, today there is a feeling that all the agencies, be it Hockey India, be it Indian Hockey Federation, even Sports Ministry, they have dealt with issues of Hockey very lightly. Everybody is passing the blame," Singh said.

Singh had fought the election for the post of President of Hockey India, with the agenda of cleaning up the hockey administration, and wresting it from the grip of politicians.

Singh lost his bid to Vidya Stokes on August 5 last year, an experienced hockey administrator, who has been heading the Indian Women's Hockey Federation since 1984.


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