Blackest day in Indian Hockey: NIS coach

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Patiala, Mar 10 (UNI) A pall of gloom descended on the NIS as soon as the news was flashed on various TV channels about Indian hockey team's ouster from Beijing Olympics.

"It is the blackest day in Indian hockey," Dr Bhupender Singh Dhillon, hockey coach at the NIS, told UNI after Great Britain whipped India 2-0 today in Santiago, Chile.

"It is for the first time since 1928, when India won the gold medal in Amsterdam Olympics, that India will not figure in the Olympics at Beijing," Dr Dhillon said.

"The last ten minutes of the game should have been used as a trigger period which, according to new FIH rules, allows the team to pull out the goalkeeper and induct an attacking player," he said.

Why chief coach Joaquim Carvalho did not take advantage of this new rule has baffled Dr Dhillon.

"The 'hockey wizard' Capt Dhyan Chand, who was the chief hockey coach at the NIS from 1961 to 1966, would have committed hara-kiri had he been alive today," he said.

India's loss to Great Britain in the final encounter today was no surprise. In the league match too, Great Britain had beaten India 3-2 and Carvalho had attributed the debacle to "lack of discipline" on the part of Indian players, he said, adding that "Olympic hockey champions in 1988 at Seoul, Great Britain are a force to reckon with in world hockey, and the Indian team management should have known this very well in order to evolve a strategy to avoid defeat." "In the last Asian Games at Doha, India failed to win a medal and were relegated to 4th place, and this was a signal warning to IHF of the decline which was never taken seriously. And today, IHF has paid a heavy penalty which demands the ouster of top IHF bosses," Dr Dhillon said.

UNI PS MMS1652

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