Kalmadi wants 'rubber stamp' hockey chief, says Pargat

New Delhi, July 26: Two days before the Hockey India (HI) elections, Olympian Pargat Singh, a candidate for the president's post, launched another scathing attack on Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi, saying that he wants a "rubber stamp" chief to run the national sport.

The former India captain labelled Kalmadi as the "dirty face of Indian sport".

"The government has given Rs.130 million to HI in the last two years, but nobody has a clue how the money was spent. There is no transparency in HI. They violated the election guidelines of the government by fielding an 83-year-old lady (Vidya Stokes) for the president's post.

"Suresh Kalmadi is behind all these things. He wants a rubber stamp president to run Hockey India. If the Narinder Batra (secretary general) camp wins the election, it will not be Hockey India, but Hockey Kalmadi," Pargat told reporters here Monday.

Pargat, who in the recent past has criticised the IOA chief for the current mess in hockey, said Kalmadi has destroyed the Olympic movement in the country.

"Kalmadi is the dirty face of Indian sport. He talks about the Olympic movement, but he has himself destroyed the Olympic movement in the country. Such people should not be part of the sport.

"He is behind forming parallel bodies in many states. They then go to the court and have a battery of lawyers to take care of the matter," Pargat alleged.

Pargat, who is the secretary-general of Hockey Punjab, also said that there is no transparency in HI.

"Who is HI to decide that they do not need government assistance. They are just an ad-hoc body. If the government does not recognise them, how can they participate in international events."

Pargat maintained that hockey can still flourish in India.

"People still love to watch hockey. Cricket is becoming expensive for sponsors, so there is scope for marketing hockey."

Asked about his plans, if he becomes HI president, Pargat said: "There are so many things that need to be done urgently. The coaching system, the umpiring system, need to be upgraded. There should be a technical committee looking into all these things."

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