Apr 25

Written by: Sundeep Misra
Friday, April 25, 2008 

“What a relief,” was drag-flicker Len Aiyappa’s reaction about Indian Hockey Federation general-secretary K. Jothikumaran’s ouster following a TV channel’s sting operation. The Chennai-based official was allegedly caught taking a bribe and selling an India berth to a private company for the upcoming Azlan Shah tournament.

Aiyappa, the country’s top drag-flicker till a few years back, has been the only player to date to stay away from India camps blaming ill treatment meted out by IHF officials.

“India colours have no meaning,” the Bangalore player had famously said, blaming the IHF top functionaries for cold-shouldering talented players ahead of their “favourites”. Said Aiyappa on Wednesday, “I want to congratulate the media. All of us have been aware of the bungling of K. Jothikumaran. God knows how many careers he has destroyed all these years. The IHF and the selections was run by him, while the rest were like mere spectators watching whatever he was doing. “There are a lot of boys who deserved to play for India but were left in tears after what he did to them. Some of them even stopped playing hockey,” said Aiyappa, who last played for India during the Azlan Shah tournament in 2005.

Repeated calls from the IHF — after India suffered at the top level events due to lack of a quality drag-flicker — were not enough to persuade the 29-year old to rejoin the team. “How could one play while all this rubbish was going on. There has to be some pride in playing for the country. I was told (by the IHF) that I was part of the 2006 Commonwealth Games squad. And when I read the morning papers, I was nowhere. There were some entirely new names. Can anyone explain that? The players are left demoralised all the time.

“The IHF has been run by the same men for the 15 years and it needs a desperate change. I am glad Jothikumaran is out. I spoke to some other players as well and everyone is happy,” said the penalty-corner specialist who earned applause from Aussie great Ric Charlesworth after his stupendous show in the Premier Hockey League in last two years.
Playing for the Bangalore Hi-Fliers, Aiyappa was the team’s highest scorer and guided them to the title for two years in a row. The defender is now keen to don India colours once again.  “I want to be back on the field and play for the country. National colours will have their value once again. This is a moment of relief,” he said.
(Courtesy, Deccan Chronicle)


2 comment(s) so far...

Re: Jothi ruined many careers: Len


By JAGDEEP on   Friday, April 25, 2008

Re: Jothi ruined many careers: Len

It is time to fire the non performing coach Joaquim Carvalho also . Now we have no big tournament coming. We have to slowly rebuild our team, Start with those players who performed well in the last PHL, time to recall players like deepak thakur, len aiyappa, arjun halappa, sandeep singh. There is no loss in trying them again, they still have few years left. Give Charlesworth power to select team without any bias. If we start now, then only we can play better in 2010 commonwealth games and asian games. I dont see India qualifying in any olympics or champions trophy or world cup ( 2010 will be the last wrold cup ) for next 10 years as I see the way we are managing sports.

By munna on   Saturday, April 26, 2008

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