Rupnagar, Mar 11 (UNI) Describing as ''unfortunate'' the Union Sports Minister's stand that the government can not interfere in the matters of Indian Hockey Federation as it is an autonomous body, former Indian Hockey team captain Pargat Singh today said, ''sports federations can not be bigger than the country and its interests.'' ''It is unfortunate that the union government is running away from its responsibility by saying that it could not remove IHF president K.P.S Gill following the failure of India to qualify for Beijing Olympics as the federation was an autonomous body, '' Pargat said while interacting with mediapersons here today.
''The government must find a via media to get rid of the present set up of IHF. Sports federations can not be bigger than the country and interests of the country must be paramount rather than interests of the individuals controlling these federations.
In reply to a question, he said that Gill should have quit his post in the IHF much earlier as the country was witnessing a steady fall of the national game for the last several years.
He alleged that present IHF set up had failed to make proper planning for the upliftment of the game and appeared to have become 'deaf and dumb'.
Answering another query, he said that there was no dearth of hockey talent in the country.
However, he expressed serious concern over the poor state of domestic hockey circuit in the country, which had led to shrinking of hockey base in the country and stressed the need for further strengthening the domestic circuit.
In reply to another question, he said that there was nothing wrong in availing the services of foreign coaches for training the national hockey team.
However, basic shortcomings should be removed at our own level first, he stressed.
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