Hockey row: Former captain urges PM's intervention

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:07 IST

Former Indian hockey captain Pargat Singh has now appealed to the Prime Minister to intervene and try and get the national sport back into the limelight.

Hockey row: Former captain urges PM's intervention

New Delhi:

Former Indian hockey captain Pargat Singh has now appealed to the Prime Minister to intervene and try and get the national sport back into the limelight. This comes after the Indian Hockey Federation sacked coach Rajinder Singh and failed to include a few deserving players in the squad with the Olympics less than a month away. Pargat also questioned the rationale behind the exclusion of mid-fielder Bimal Lakra and defender Kanwalpreet Singh from the team for Athens. The feeling is echoed by other former players as well. 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 releived 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. But experts feel the team should not let these off-the-field activities affect them. "This is really unfortunate. But the Indian team should now concentrate on the sport and particularly on the Olympics and look ahead," said K Arumungam, Hockey Journalist. 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 to try and win its first Olympic gold in 24 years, it's not just on-the-field strategies and tactics, but also differences off the field that will need to be sorted out.

Topics : Hockey
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