Choosing right team for upcoming Azlan Shah tournament is top priority

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New Delhi, May 1 : The ad hoc body set up by the Indian Olympic Association to clear the mess in the Indian Hockey met on Thursday here to discuss the future of the game.

The ad-hoc panel headed by Aslam Sher Khan said that in the present situation the priority of Indian hockey is to select the team for the upcoming Azlan Shah Tournament in Malaysia to fulfill India's commitment.

Members of the ad hoc body set up after suspension of the Indian Hockey Federation last week say that choosing right team for upcoming Azlan Shah tournament is their immediate priority.

"The most important task right now is the commitment of India and the team that has to play in the Azlan Shah Tournament. Our main concern is to select the team and give it a proper shape. We will give it some final touches and communicate that to you since we want to include suggestions from Charlesworth on this," said Aslam Sher Khan, Chairman of the newly appointed ad hoc body.

"I think this tournament will not be an index for us since the tournament is in the pipeline and it is our commitment but in the coming time we will bring a fool-proof plan on how to revive hockey. I think it's difficult but not impossible," added Khan.

Failing for the first time to qualify for the upcoming Beijing Olympics followed by allegations of corruption against a top official from the national governing body, which was shown, on a television programme accepting cash for a 'favour', Indian hockey has plunged into a major crisis.

Although the committee said that along with reviving the game it would also ensure transparency in the selection procedure.

Meanwhile, the technical advisor to Indian hockey team Rick Charlesworth said that the suspension of the Indian Hockey Federation came as a surprise to him.

"It came as a surprise to me. I was overseas but it didn't come as a surprise to many other people I think. You never know, things happen quickly some times," said Charlesworth.

India will take on Olympic qualifier New Zealand in the opening match of the seven-nation Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey tournament to be played at Ipoh, Malaysia from May 8 to 18.

ANI

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