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2008 OQ: Chile Qualifier
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IHF Officer Bearers Meeting - Some Thoughts (3/23/2008)
--s2h team
Indian Hockey Federation chief KPS Gill called an Officer bearers meeting at his residence in New Delhi on Tuesday, the 19th March, obviously to take stock of situation arising out of India not qualifying for the Beijing Olympics.

The IHF has on record One President, Eight Vice-Presidents, one Secretary General, one Treasurer and three joint Secretaries. One paid Assistant Secretary was also supposed to be among the Officer Bearers, but as we all know -- when the question of ‘paid’ comes the IHF backtracks -- there is no Paid Asst. Secretary ever in the Gill’s IHF. There was one before Gill.

Now the first question is – it would also give a measure how much importance these Office bearers bear in the present IHF set up – how many of them are there in a position to attend the meeting? Among those who attended the meeting how many count in the State Hockey Associations?

A couple of the Office Bearers were lucky – they are no longer on the earth like Prof. Gursewak Singh. Their slots were not filled in as on date. And it is in the fitness of things as office bearers services or advices have hardly been sought or offered.

Secondly, some of these national level Office Bearers are no longer office bearers in their State. They were there when the last IHF election took place, that was in Guwahati in 2002, and the election results of 2005 are under envelope as per court order.

Therefore, the meeting had half a dozen people like Umesh Kumar, Bajpayee (Bengal), who ceased to be presidents of their state associations.

Against this backdrop the meeting started. In the outset, Gill has told them that since a court order prohibits holding official meeting, the discussion is informal.

By all means, it is not correct. A courts allow you to select team, send it to foreign countries, run business as usual in all respect and why it said so with respect to holding meeting alone. If it is so, the Executive Committee Meeting that took place in Chandigarh during the fourth Premier Hockey League is illegal? By telling so, the IHF escaped itself from issuing minutes.

So, the meeting commenced on a right note for Gill, on a wrong note for the others.

Then Gill pointed out one of the office bearers to speak. The Officer bearer in question dared to ask why me first and where is the agenda for the meeting.

Gill looked at his trusted soul, IHF Secretary Jothikumaran -- who knows only about his personal agenda – who looked skywards.

A minimum requirement for a meeting is agenda which was also not there.

Once there is no system, Gill is boss, so it went on.

One talked about IHF not having a good Secretariat, others about every ills that affect hockey.

K. Krishnamurthy, Secretary, KSHA, spoke first and he really went full steam as only expected of him. Gill intervened him on a couple of occasion, but he stood by his arguments. One member even told s2h that he spoke so much against Gill that the IHF chief, in order to calm Krishnamurthy, had to call for a break. Krishnamurthy’s bold stand needs to understood against the backdrop his own president RK Shetty who was Manager of Santiago team and also right hand man of Joaquim.

It is also interesting that because of ’Krishnamurthy vision and effort the KSHA is embarking upon construction of mega structure (gym, swimming pool, 40 guest rooms, library, all at KSHA premises) at the cost of Rs.3 crore. Whereas even now the IHF functions on a rented house.

There was near uniformity that Gill has given more rope for coach Joaquim Carvalho who has become unmanageable, and as such he is responsible and quit. This severity and intensity was lacking when the question of Charlesworth came, although majority wanted him in place of Joaquim. Gill has made it clear he cannot change coach at this hour and that Charlesworth issue is being evaluated.

Gurbux Singh, Secretary, Bengal Hockey Association and IHF selector, was forthcoming in his criticism of Joaquim.

Those attended the meeting include Niranjan Reddy (AP), Jebaratnam (Tamil Nadu), Ramesh Kolappa (Kerala), SP Dass (Himachal Predesh), Chandrasekar (Chandigarh), Pratap Satpati (Orissa), Gurbux Singh and Bajpayee (Bengal), Umesh Kumar and Ramachandra Rao (Hyderabad).

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