Ex-IHF chief Gill ready to work with Hockey India

Gill said he has convened a meeting of state associations here on Sunday to which Hockey India had also been invited.

This could be seen as retaliation to the Roy-led state associations’ decision to leave Gill out of a meeting to protest the formation of Hockey India.

“With the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games slated to be held next year, we can ill afford to waste time.

“I don’t stand on ego. For improving the standard of the game, I am prepared to co-operate with anybody who has the good of Indian hockey at heart,” Gill said in a statement.

“I want Indian hockey to regain its glory and to once again emerge as a powerful player in the international arena and for that I am prepared to go to any length,” he said.

The former IHF president categorically made it clear that the erstwhile Indian Women’s Hockey Federation, led by Amrit Bose, who has defected to the Roy camp, has not been invited to the meeting.

Interestingly, Bengal Hockey Association supremo Roy and Bose have recently joined forces to oppose the formation of Hockey India, a unified body comprising men’s and women’s wing as desired by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

“We don’t want confrontation with Hockey India because the continued rift and impasse has adversely affected the game,” Gill said.

“I am a positive thinking person. I am confident that we will be able to reach some understanding with Hockey India till the elections are held in six months’ time,” he added.
Hockey India secretary general Mohammad Aslam said they had received an invitation from Gill and would be attending the meeting.

“It is an opportunity to break the deadlock. The president (AK Mattoo) is out of town so I will attend the meeting on behalf of Hockey India,” Aslam said. “Let’s see how it works out. This is just the beginning.”

Meanwhile, BHA secretary Gurbux Singh, a close aide of Roy, said he was not at all surprised by the development.

“We were expecting that. For us it is not news, but it will be interesting to see how many people attend the meeting,” he said.

“Gill is now joining hands with the same people who had removed him from his office,” Gurbux added.

The Roy camp is also meeting at Amby Valley on Sunday to showcase their strength and Gurbux said they had the support of more than 50 state associations, including men and women.

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