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Businessmen heading sports bodies harmful: SC

The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed concern over the falling standards of hockey in the country, noting that politicians and businessmen heading sports bodies were harming the game.

sports Updated: Dec 06, 2013 01:27 IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed concern over the falling standards of hockey in the country, noting that politicians and businessmen heading sports bodies were harming the game.

A Bench of Justice TS Thakur and Justice Vikramjit Sen were critical of the legal dispute between the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Hockey India (HI) and said such bodies should be left to the sportsmen.

Leave it to sportsmen
"It is sad that people who are the administrators of the game have nothing to do with sports and they run the bodies at the cost of the game," the Bench said during the hearing of IHF's petition, claiming to be the recognized body to represent the country at international events.

"Sports are run by private individual persons. Private individuals are controlling the games in India. Can the game be held hostage by private interests? This is why hockey has come down and the team is struggling to qualify for Olympics where we used to win gold medals," the Bench observed.

Unfortunate
It said it was unfortunate that the government wasn't able to control the games and the "rot" in the federations has led to the present state of affairs of sports in the country. "In no other country such litigations are witnessed for controlling the games," it observed.

After briefly hearing the IHF, the Bench asked whether an Olympian was heading the federation. "You brought this game to an abysmal low that you do not qualify to send your team to international events," said the Bench.

The IHF is at loggerheads with HI and wants SC to stay the proceedings initiated by international hockey federation (FIH) to find out which of the two is recognised to represent the country at international events.