New Delhi: KPS Gill ruled Indian hockey for nearly 15 years, but the chief of a rejuvenated Indian Hockey Federation today backed the government’s contentious tenure limitation guidelines and also made it clear that he will not contest the much-awaited election of the national federation.
“I agree with the Sports Ministry’s directives about the tenure limitation. I fully support the government’s move and it should be followed,” Gill told reporters on the sidelines of the Special General Meeting of IHF here.
In what seems to be an offer to the Narinder Batra-led Hockey India to join hands, Gill said, “I am ready to talk to anyone for the better interest of hockey. I will talk to IWHF for the merger of men’s and women’s body.”
“But I will not contest any election if it happens,” the former Punjab Police top cop added.
The Sports Ministry wants to fix the tenure of presidents of Indian Olympic Association and National Sports Federations at 12 years with or without break.
The secretary generals and the treasurers’ tenure were fixed at eight years at a stretch by the ministry regulations, which also advocates a retirement age of 70.
The Gill-backed IHF got a lifeline after Delhi High Court last month had quashed the government and the IOA’s orders de-recognising the sports body in 2008.
“What happened to us was wrong. The way IOA suspended us was unethical and undemocratic. The court order vindicated our stand and during today’s meeting the resolution was passed that the court order should now be implemented as soon as possible,” Gill said.
Sunday’s meeting was convened to chalk out their future plan of action after the court’s decision.
The IHF chief also claimed that the meeting was attended by 50 members from as many as 29 units. Prominent among them were former India coach Joaquim Carvalho (Mumbai Hockey Association), Karnataka Hockey Association president RK Shetty, Ashok Mathur and Charanjit Singh (Delhi Hockey Association), Saubhit Patil and Benny Boodle (Pune).
Sports Ministry’s under secretary Shankar Lal, who was also present at the meeting as a government observer, clarified the government’s stand on the whole issue.
“The Sports Ministry has decided to depute an authorized representative to attend all the General Body Meetings of IHF, IWHF and Hockey India.
“The government’s objective is to facilitate early resolution of the conflicting situation existing at present with several bodies claiming to be the legitimate governing body of hockey in India,” Lal said.
“The role of the government is to co-ordinate and consult all concerned to ensure that there is a single national governing body for both men and women hockey in the country, which is acceptable to the International Hockey Federation also,” he added.