The Supreme Court said only sportsmen, not businessmen, should head sports bodies.
"Politics has taken the game of hockey to abysmal low. Earlier India used to win gold medals but now we are struggling to qualify. Sports bodies should be headed by sports-persons...not by businessmen," Supreme Court said on Thursday.
The top court's observations were made during the hearing of two warring factions of hockey associations - Indian Hockey Federation and Hockey India. Both associations have claimed that they represent Indian hockey.
In a stinging remark on the state of affairs in sporting bodies, the apex court observed that people who are the administrators of the game have nothing to do with sport and they run the bodies at the cost of the game.
"Sports are run by private individuals, who control the games in India. Can the game be held hostage by private interest. This is why hockey has come down and the team is struggling to qualify for Olympics where we used to win gold medals," a bench comprising justices TS Thakur and J Chelameshwar said.
(with PTI inputs)