Ajitpal Singh appointed chairman of ad hoc selection committee

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New Delhi, Jul 31 (UNI) Compelled by continuous pressure from the former Olympians, the IOA today announced Ajitpal Singh as the new chairman of the ad-hoc selection committee superseding Aslam Sher Khan.

Speaking to mediapersons here today, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi said, ''From now, Ajitpal Singh will head the ad-hoc selection committee and Aslam Sher Khan will remain as a selector.'' The decision was taken after a two-hour long meeting between the IOA officials and former Olympians.

However, an official present in today's meeting revealed that Khan's appointment had been receiving some strong resistance from former Olympians as Singh was always senior to him.

''The members could not accept the fact that Aslam Sher Khan superseding Ajitpal Singh. But still it was unfair for Aslam Sher Khan and he should not have been appointed as the chairman in the first place,'' the official said.

It was also decided in the meeting that the IOA will send a team of four coaches to Beijing, which would monitor and analyse the techniques of other top teams and then impart the same to Indian players.

''Even though our hockey team is not going to Beijing, we have decided to send A K Bansal, M K Kaushik, Harinder Singh and A B Subiya to see how other top teams play in the Olympics, '' Kalmadi added.

The meeting, which was called on to chalk out a plan to revive Indian hockey in coming years, decided to emphasise local and regional competetions while maintaining transparency in the selection.

Kalmadi added that the National Championship will restart and Pune has been decided as the first venue to host it this year.

The IOA president further pointed out that lack of long-term vision, poor administration and management led to the downfall of hockey in India.

Meanwhile, the IOA and ad-hoc committee have listed the names of 20 coaches from which six coaches will be shortlisted, who will be appointed to serve the Indian team.

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