Former captain seeks PM's intervention

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Former Indian captain Pargat Singh has appealed to the Prime Minister to intervene and try and get hockey back into the limelight for the right reasons.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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New Delhi:

Shocked by the removal of Rajinder Singh, former India captain and coach Pargat Singh has asked for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene to save Indian hockey from being ruined by its Federation. Pargat also questioned the rationale behind the exclusion of mid-fielder Bimal Lakra and defender Kanwalpreet Singh from the team for Athens. This feeling is echoed by other former players as well. IHF justification Rajinder Singh is the 14th coach to be sacked in the last 11 years and like in the past, the Indian Hockey Federation had a strange justification for this move. They said the coach was relieved of his services because only four officials can sit on the team bench during matches at the Olympics and with India already having two foreign coaches, there was going to be no place for Rajinder. However, experts feel the team should not let these off the field activities affect them. India's performance this year has not been great. The worst was at the 4-nation event in Holland where they finished last, conceding 17 goals. If India is going to win its first Olympic gold in 24 years, it's not just on the field strategies and tactics, but also differences off the filed that will need to be sorted out.

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