Times of India
NEW DELHI, April 22:Indian Hockey Federation secretary K Jothikumaran’s luck has finally run out. For years, the grapevine had buzzed with talk of shady deals involving him. Now, the man who held the second most powerful post in Indian hockey for 14 years has been exposed by a news channel's sting operation showing him taking money to get a player selected for the Azlan Shah Cup to be held at Kuala Lumpur in May. This is a fresh blow to the 'national game' that's already struggling to stay alive in the country.
Jothikumaran resigned late on Monday night after the damning evidence was aired on television. Not that he had much choice. IHF chief K P S Gill had categorically stated after the sting that Jothikumaran would be sacked.
"We will remove him. We are now looking to appoint someone as the acting secretary tomorrow itself. Somebody who can stoop to such a level and disgrace the game need not continue," Gill told TOI after the channel showed the Chennai-based secretary demanding Rs 5 lakh for ensuring the selection of a player in the national team. The team for the Azlan Shah Cup was to be picked on Tuesday, Gill said.
According to the sting transcript, Jothikumaran received cash payment of Rs 2 lakh in a Delhi hotel on April 10 and 11 and was promised that the rest would be delivered to his man in the capital. "A few days after receiving the money, Jothikumaran told us the player's name had been included in the list of probables for Azlan Shah Cup to be sent to the ministry this week," the transcript said.
"Jothikumaran assured us that as far he was concerned the player was in, and it was now just a matter of formality. The special investigation team did not know this player at all. Just to make the entire investigation look real, they used the name of this player as he was part of the recently held camp at Bangalore and was not included in the team for the ongoing tour of Australia," the transcript added.