Pillay takes a dig at Hockey India

Pillay takes a dig  at Hockey India

Dhanraj Pillay

“I certainly doubt HI will hold its election before the commencement of the World Cup,” said Pillay, on the sidelines of the Jude Felix Invitational hockey tournament where he presided as the chief guest on Wednesday. “In fact, I know what the excuse would be -- that we are busy preparing for the World Cup and will hold elections once the event is completed.”

In November, FIH had warned HI that if they failed to hold elections by February 28, they would be disallowed from participating in the World Cup despite being the hosts.

The Arjuna and Khel Ratna awardee Pillay, who also pitched in as a guest player for the Singapore Recreational Club, said he was very disappointed by Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi’s actions in recent months.

“Initially, I was happy that IOA had disbanded the Indian Hockey Federation -- especially KPS Gill -- over corruption. Some of us fought for years to have Gill removed. For a government body to finally remove him was satisfying.

“But then, the same Kalmadi was seen shaking hands with Gill. Shockingly, I see in the newspapers that Gill wants to be a part of HI and Kalmadi is fine with it. Honestly, something is wrong,” added Pillay.

“The only mistake I did was to question this as well as the selection policy. Being a national selector as a committee member of HI, don’t I have that right?”

The 2003 Asia Cup-winning captain was equally critical of new coach Jose Brasa. “Until now, Brasa has never given a timeline to produce results. Whenever he talks to the press, the only reply he seems to have is -- ‘Don’t expect results’. What else do you expect from a coach?” Pillay questioned.

“Only Ric Charlesworth and Terry Walsh as coaches can save hockey here. We also need administrators like Jagmohan Dalmiya and Lalit Modi.”

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