No sponsors due to faulty marketing policies of IHF: Khan

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Bhopal, Oct 4 (UNI) Criticising the faulty marketing policies of Indian Hockey Federation, former Hockey Olympian Aslam Sher Khan today said that there is no dearth of affluent sponsors for the sport but IHF lacks proper and professional marketing approach to lure them.

Reacting over the lack of sponsors and funds in hockey, Mr Khan told UNI here that systematic approach coupled with professional tactics could definetly attract the sponsors to invest in the game.

''Akin to cricket, hockey shall have approriate funds to meet their escalating needs and credible people must come forward to woo the sponsors,'' he opined.

Mr Khan, who is now a member of the Adhoc committee of IHF, termed India's failure to qualify for Beijing Olympics as national shame.

''The whole country should think over it. It's unfortunate that the country, which once used to dominate the sports in the international arena, is now struggling to maintain its standard,'' Mr Khan lamented.

Expressing optimism of Indian hockey's unpliftment, the sportsman turned politican stressed the need for an orcherstraed and coordinated effort on the part of the government, sports authorities and those who are committed to the sports.

Elaborating his point Mr Khan said the government should come forward to build infrasturcture and launch talent hunting programmes in the remote areas, particularly in the tribal dominated pockets in the country.''Without government's support, sports cannot be developed.'' He said sports should be introduced in the school level and the budding talents should be imparted proper training from a tender age.

About former Indian captain Dhanraj Pillay, he said the player had played his innings and should take retirement gracefully.

Launching a scathing attack on former chairman of Indian Hockey Federation(IHF) K P S Gill, the former ace hockey player said owing to his 15-year stint Indian hockey suffered a set back.

''Mr Gill was a dictator and a hard and fast type of person who used to dominate and meddle in all affairs. Due to this attitude, Indian hockey could not flourish as it should have to be'', Mr Khan alleged.

UNI BDG-KV SP 1534

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