Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) president KPS Gill on Wednesday offered an olive branch to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Hockey India (HI) to sit together and find a solution to the hockey mess.
The Sports Ministry on Tuesday issued a statement that it would work to obtain co-operation of both the IHF and HI in the best interest of hockey in the country, and Gill felt all the parties should start working on this basis.
"I don't want to go into a debate on any issue. There has been lot of mudslinging going on. It won't help and only hockey will suffer. The most realistic way out now is to sit together and thrash out the issues," Gill, who has never been shy of criticising both Indian Olympic Association and HI, told reporters at a press conference in New Delhi.
"Cases have been pending in seven High Courts now. It is in a very bad shape. So, let us get together and if we do so I think we can thrash it out in a week," he added confidently.
The combative former super cop said he was happy that the government seemed to be taking a lead role, though belatedly, to try and reconcile the two national hockey bodies.
"I am happy with the government's statement yesterday, it is a positive thing. Had the government taken the step two months back the problems would have been sorted out by now. But at least the government has taken the lead now and we should start from there," he said.
"I am going to meet FIH observer Antonio von Ondarza and take up the issue with him," the former Punjab Director General of Police said.
Asked if the IOA and HI would allow conciliation process to start, he said, "At least I can make a request. I don't know why some people want to prolong the problems."
Asked if IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi could be a hurdle in the process of conciliation, Gill quipped, "I think he should also start thinking of finding a solution by sitting together."
Gill disclosed that he had written a letter to the IOA, Sports Ministry and International Hockey Federation (FIH) for a solution through talks after the Delhi High Court struck down IOA's de-recognition of IHF in 2008.
"I wrote a letter to Ministry, IOA and FIH that I am ready to sit together with anybody to find a solution but till now nothing has come out of it," he said.
Asked about FIH's disaffiliation of IHF in 2000, Gill wondered how it could be done as the organisation led by him got official communications till 2007.
"After the so called disaffiliation I met the FIH observer in 2001 and told him that the constitution (of FIH) still mentions IHF and IWHF and how could we be derecognised," he said.
"Moreover, I got FIH official communication till 2007," he added.
Gill also said that the electoral college of the HI elections, which were stayed by both Delhi and Bombay High Courts today, should comprise of former hockey players or those who know the game.