Sports Minister urges IHF President to quit

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New Delhi, Apr 22 (UNI) The Sports Minister M S Gill today asked IHF chief KPS Gill to quit in the wake of a sting operation in which federation secretary general K Jothikumaran was caught taking bribe on camera.

''In full consideration of the situation facing Indian Hockey, and the national need, I urge him, to consider withdrawing from his current responsibility. It is time to let other Indians make an attempt to lift our hockey.'' the Sports Minister said in a statement.

Describing what was shown in the sting operation last night as ''most unfortunate for our hockey,'' the minister said, ''it had distressed every Indian''.

He also added, ''I indicated immediately the necessity for Mr Jothikumaran to resign from his office as Secretary General of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF)and he has done so.'' The minister strongly refuted the IHF chief's contention that Mr Jothikumaran's resignation is till the enquiry clearance.

''Jothikumaran has been Secretary General since 1994 and faith in him has now been shattered,''he said.

Mr Gill also referred to the debacle of Indian hockey team in Chile and its failure to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.

''I have agonized long over the IHF. Its recent disaster in Chile is still fresh in every Indian's mind. Now, trust and faith in fair selection is shaken,'' he said, adding that ''the IHF President, in view of the totality of the situation, must also introspect and review his position.'' UNI HSB RAR DS1615

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