‘A national disaster’

A huge national disaster. This decline did not happen in one day, the hockey federation just did not seem interested in noticing and arresting the decline.

— Ashok Kumar, former India captain and member of the 1975 World Cup-winning team.

It’s a sad day for Indian hockey, but people should have seen it coming. The Indian Hockey Federation, the national Olympic association and the sports ministry are all responsible for the state of affairs.

— Pargat Singh, former India captain.

We are hurt and ashamed. Hockey is our national sport and we failed to qualify for Olympics. But it is not right to blame the IHF or for that matter any individual for the debacle. It is a collective failure and we have to find out what went wrong.

— Randhir Singh, Indian Olympic Association Secretary-General.

The IHF and its head K. P. S. Gill should own responsibility. They owe an explanation to the hockey lovers. It’s is high time dictatorial attitude is put behind for the betterment of hockey.

— Joseph Tirkey, former national player.

He (Gill) should resign from his post. Actually the slide in the game increased soon after he took over as the IHF president.

— Sylvanus Dung Dung, former India player and Olympian.

It was shocking that India are out of the Olympics. It’s my saddest day in the sport.

— Leo Pinto, India’s goalkeeper at the first post-war Olympic Games in London, 1948.

I can imagine this is a disappointment for India. But sport is sometimes hard but honest and only the best 12 teams in the world will participate at the Olympic Games. The result in Santiago shows that Indian hockey now needs to implement the operational plans which have been provided nearly a year ago as part of the ‘Promoting Indian Hockey’ project without any further delay.


— Els van Breda Vriesman, FIH president.

Do not run them down. This is the time all Indians must encourage and support the players. As a hockey-loving nation it’s very disappointing that our team has not qualified for the Olympics, but one must also recognise the fact that the players must be feeling the disappointment much more than anyone else. No sportsperson wants to fail.

— Sachin Tendulkar, India’s star cricketer.