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2008 OQ: Chile Qualifier
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NEW DELHI: Public Protest against KPS Gill (3/24/2008)
--K. Arumugam
About a hundred hockey fans of the capital city, under the banner of Hockey Fans Club of India, staged a protest rally in New Delhi today. They were vocal in demanding resignation of KPS Gill from the post of Indian Hockey Federation.

At the end of the small march, they burnt an effigy of KPS Gill, amidst chanting slogans against his style of functioning. Among those present includes some hockey lovers like Sujit Rajan, who came all the way from Gurgaon, and a hotel staff of a near by hotel, who are all used to be at the Shivaji Stadium for all hockey tournaments.

Ajit Singh, President and organizer, said that Mr. Gill ruled 14 years and did not give us anythng to be proud about. He should tell the people he failed, tender apology to the nation and resign from the IHF. On asked by a television reporter that the Sports Minister refused to remove him, he said the Prime Miniter should know the pulse of the nation and do the needful. There are powerful people in the country, if they want they can easily remove Gill, who has not given us results", Ajit Singh argued.

Elaborating on the issue, Ajit Singh and his charged up friends said that being Delhites, they want to watch the World Cup in Delhi. "Gill said in a television interview that India did not need World Cup and and also we did not host the World Cup for ages. He will fly and watch World Cup wherever it is held. What about us, ordinary citizen. We want World Cup at any cost. Will he listen to us?"

In a press release, they also said that the situation is so grim at present that not only have we lost our standing of the past 80 years (in the international hockey), but also we have not taken any step to chek the deterioration in the game. No plan has been made nor any action taken for promotion of the game. We condemn the careless attitude of the Federation. We share the nation's grief over the ousting of Indian hcokey from the Olympics for the first time in 80 years.

Our demand is to remove Mr. Gill, the present IHF Chief. Secondly, we also demand Gill to accept the resignation of present coach Joaquim Carvalho, full charge be given to Australian coach Richard Charlesworth. A new team of Federation officials should be seleted for the 2010 World Cup, which is already alloted to India. The press release was issued by Avtar Singh Verka, Secretary, Hockey Fans Club of Inda.

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