IHF's suspension a positive and necessary step: MS Gill

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New Delhi, Apr 29 (UNI) Giving the thumbs-up to the IOA's decision to suspend the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), Sports Minister M S Gill today welcomed the verdict saying it was a ''necessary step''.

''The decision regarding the Indian Hockey Federation, taken last evening by the Executive Committee of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), was necessary,'' Mr Gill said in a statement.

He hoped that the new five-member selection committee headed by Aslam Sher Khan will help in revamping the current state of Indian hockey so that the sport regains its lost glory.

''It was a unanimous decision and in my judgment appropriate in the given situation. I have carefully noted the composition of the new Selection Committee. I would hope that they work in unison, and for the best interest of the hockey and youth of India,'' he stated.

''In my judgment, it will also be necessary, to have a compact, well chosen and efficient new administration for the IHF. I am confident the IOA will address this,'' he added.

Earlier, following K Jothikumaran's shocking video in which he was caught in camera accepting bribe, Mr Gill had asked the IHF chief to step down from his post.

Mr Gill said the Sports Ministry had approved the laying of 12 new astroturfs in the country, a project which will cost Rs 42 crore.

Work for the establishment of astroturfs in another eight places is at different stages of completion while the replacement of old astroturfs at NIS Patiala and Kolkata is underway.

By the end of 2009, India will have 30 Astroturfs spread across the country for the promotion of hockey.

UNI RAR RKM HS1712

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