New Delhi, Apr 23: A day after the bribe scandal forced K Jothikumaran to quit as secretary general of the IHF, Sports Minister M S Gill trained his gun at its Chief KPS Gill, saying he should also step down to restore faith in the hockey establishment.
The Minister said Gill should "introspect and review" his position as the trust and faith in the fair selection of hockey teams has been shaken after the expose on a television channel.
"Since yesterday, I have agonised long over the IHF. It's recent disaster in Chile is still fresh in every Indian mind. Now, trust and faith in fair selection is shaken. I believe, in the totality of the situation, the IHF President must also introspect and review his position," he said in a statement.
"In full consideration of the situation facing Indian Hockey, and the national need, I urge him, to consider withdrawing from his current responsibility. It is time to let other Indians, make an attempt, to lift our hockey," he said.
The newly appointed Minister was of the view that Jothikumaran should not be reinstated even if an enquiry found him to be innocent.
"The incident seen on television last night, was most unfortunate for our hockey, and distressed every Indian. I indicated immediately, the necessity for Jothikumaran to resign from his office as Secretary General of the IHF. He has done so," he said.
"I do not agree, with the IHF President's formulation, that his resignation, is till the enquiry clearance. Jothikumaran has been Secretary General since 1994 and faith in him has now been shattered," he added.
In a sting operation beamed last night, The 'Headlines Today' claimed that after receiving a cash payment of Rs two lakhs and taking a promise of another Rs three lakhs to be given to his man in Delhi, Jothikumaran assured the channel's team of getting a player picked up for the senior hockey team for the Azlan Shah hockey tournament next month.
It claimed that the bribe money was given to him in a five star hotel in Delhi in two instalments on April 10 and 11.