Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh)
Exulting over his legal win in which the Delhi High Court had in May this year had placed Hockey India under a three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) to run its day-to-day affairs after observing that the federation has violated the National Sports Code, as a revolutionary step of offering Indian hockey clean slate and termed the opportunity as a chance to excel in the game of hockey yet again.
The HC ruling had come after a petition filed by former India player Aslam Sher Khan, a Bhopal native, who had challenged Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra’s appointment as life member of Hockey India.
The HC held that HI’s appointment of Batra as its life member and Elena Norman as CEO were illegal under the Sports Code, said Khan who was speaking at an event organized by Central India Press Club on Saturday.
Khan, son of Ahmed Sher Khan, the member of Indian hockey team in 1936 Berlin Olympics, played as the full back and was part of World Cup winning Indian team in 1975 and in 1976 Summer Olympics.
There is no dearth of sponsorship in the game these days and we only need to channelize funds in the right areas, said Khan adding the HC has offered a clean slate in Indian hockey after years of corruption, politics and legal wrangles and the administrators should have a new beginning in the game which according to him was a national crush in 60s and 70s.
Khan who had joined BJP in 1997 to quit the saffron party in year 1999, was all praises for Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for his ‘love and support’ for this game. Post restructuring in the Hockey India, on HC directives, Khan urged Chouhan to approach the game with an entire new approach. Academies are all good but we need club hockey and need to take the game among the masses so that its played in small grounds everywhere, said the former MP from Betul.
Put the funds in training, fitness regime and other measures as turf hockey is a game of fitness and physical abilities and most of the players hail to humble background and can’t afford the amount of resources required for the game, said the former Olympian.
For excelling in field of sports, he advised the Chief Minister to summon experts of various sporting discipline and seek their advice.
Asked how he sees the raw talent for hockey in Bhopal, Khan told FPJ, “The city of Bhopal has always been zarkhez (fertile) and all we need some support and encouragement.” We have raw talent in abundance on streets but we need to handpick it as my father did for the state school team in 1950s and 1960s as the head coach. Not to mention the iconic Bhopal Wanderers, the Bhopal club side in pre-independence era which had taken the nation by storm winning most of the national tourneys then and earned the tag of city being the ‘Nursery of Indian Hockey’.
He ruled out possibilities of returning to active politics saying with age and other constraints, he doesn’t see himself back to politics, instead he would love to devote his time and expertise in the second innings to the game and younger generation.
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