Defiant Gill basks in past glories

Updated: 13 March 2008 13:34 IST

Despite India's disgraceful exit from the Olympics qualifier, hockey federation chief KPS Gill has said he had no intention of resigning from the post.

Defiant Gill basks in past glories

New Delhi:

He's been the defiant president of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) for 14 years. And remains so, despite the latest debacle to hit Indian hockey - the men's team's failure to qualify for this year's Olympics in Beijing.

KPS Gill spoke exclusively to NDTV on Wednesday and said that he had no intention of resigning. He also said that India, who are champions in all age groups at the Asian level, can overcome their latest setback.

Gill said that the focus of the IHF was on juniors and not seniors. He emphasised that the federation had done well in that regard.

Defending himself over the Olympics qualifier issue, Gill pointed to the fact that India had won 10 major hockey tournaments during his 14-year tenure.

"When I took over we were nowhere in hockey. From 1998 till now, we have won approximately 10 major titles," he said.

"You have to see the effort, it is not only the federation. When you call it a national game it has to be a national effort. It becomes a national sport through symbiosis through the government, IHF and Sports Authority of India. Now for four years, the training centres for hockey were non-existent," said Gill.

Another justification that Gill gave on the recent hockey debacle was that India's performance at world cup had always been bad.

More excerpts from the interview:

On Gill's purported comment - winning at hockey is not like making instant coffee

I never made this statement. It was from your channel that I heard it. I keep my cellphone next to me. It rang and I told them until the team returns I will not comment. Then a woman called. Every 5-10 minutes there was a call. There wasn't a proper question. So I asked if you're making coffee or asking a question. Then I left the phone.

On India's successes under his reign as IHF president

When I took over we were nowhere in hockey. From 1998 till now, we have won approximately ten major titles. You can win Asian and then progress in international hockey. You're talking about the Olympics. If we talk about the Olympics, in Atlanta (1996) the commentator is saying there should be a penalty stroke and umpire ignores it and allows the ball to go and Germany score a goal.

Then, 2004, in Athens. There's a playoff for sixth place. We're playing against England. We defend a corner seven times. The game is done, we're gone, and then the team is called back.



Topics : Hockey
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