Hockey India's (HI) 'contentious' affiliation process has found a new critic in K.P.S. Gill, president of the now-defunct Indian Hockey Federation, who was recently elected chief of the joint hockey body for men and women in Delhi.
Speaking to Hindustan Times on Monday, Gill emphasised on the need to settle the 'needless' controversy, at the earliest. "Indian hockey is on a downward spiral. Instead of constructive measures, it (HI) is complicating matters by getting prominent states embroiled in affiliation issues," he said.
Gill blamed personal ambition of some officials as a possible reason for affiliation being denied to some states including Punjab and Delhi. "Whether affiliation is required or not is secondary. The primary concern is that certain individuals (in HI) are furthering personal interests at the altar of the national game."
HI is scheduled to hold elections on January 29. The post of President is being vied by many among them S.S. Badal of Punjab and Gill. The affiliation issue is seen by many as a pre-election tactic to reduce competition.
Gill, however, questioned the very basis of the election. "The government has given provisional recognition to HI till the end of this year. The result of the elections however will stand for the next four years. HI officials should seek an extension before holding any election," he said, adding all states must participate if the elections do take place.