India’s failure to qualify for hockey in Olympics 2008 was neither shocking nor shameful. Britain had beaten India in a league match 3-2 and beat India in the final 2-0. The chances of India winning the final match were 50-50 and India lost. The writing on the wall was there for a long time, particularly after India’s performance at Doha Asian Games 2006 but many did not want to read it. India had finished 11 out of 12 teams at Athens Olympics 2008.
Indian Hockey Federation must be held accountable. KPS Gill must be the first to go. A drunkard convicted of bottom slapping should never have been made President of Indian Hockey Federation. He ruined Indian hockey. Players performing well were dropped. After India won 1998 Asian Games six players were dropped. After that many players who did well were dropped. If Gill continues at the helm India will be out of Asian Games also.
India’s coach Joaquim Carvalho has blamed umpires and tournament director for India’s loss and has said there was a conspiracy by FIH and Britain to keep India out. Umpires and tournament director were partial. That was safe for Joaquim Carvalho to say. He has not said anything about India’s failure in converting penalty corners into goals.
Government of India must assert its power and see that KPS Gill goes. Autonomy of Indian Hockey Federation is meaningless if the fall continues. Indian Hockey Federation is financed by tax payers’ money. Sponsors pay part of the expenses.
It is not proper to call hockey India’s national game. National game has to be played by the largest number of people. In India cricket is played more than hockey. Football World Cup matches have larger viewership than Hockey World Cup matches. It could have been India’s national game when India won gold medals in Olympics.