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It’s hockey Olympians versus rest in MHA elections


Mumbai:  Olympians Gurbax Singh Grewal, Merwyn Fernandis and Joaquim Carvalho, a former national coach, along with a host of other internationals will be up against the ruling group led by Manga Singh Bakhshi in the elections of the Mumbai Hockey Association Limited tomorrow.

Accusing the present committee of not doing enough for the promotion of the game, players’ group’s chief spokesperson Carvalho told PTI today that all the development work in evidence at the MHAL’s Mahindra Stadium had been done “by us when we were in the committee which was dissolved once the dirty work got done by us”.

He was referring to himself, Gurbax, who was the then secretary and former umpires Peter Menezes and Ranjit Dalvi, all of whom did a lot of spadework as managing committee members in getting clearances from the Maharashtra government, local municipal authorities and through talks with the neighbouring Mumbai Cricket Association.

“We did not spend a single rupee in renovating the club house, installing the floodlights and the new Astro Turf which were done free of cost by MCA headed by Sharad Pawar,” Carvalho said.

He conceded his group was facing an uphill task and said the ruling group had included many family members as voting members while denying the same to women Olympians Selma D’Silva and Elisa Nelson — both members of the gold medal winning 1982 Asian Games squad.

“We do not subscribe that only players will make better administrators, but we do strongly believe that players can do better than the present lot of businessmen.

“It is the players in these last three years who have salvaged the little hockey in view in the city and not the officials in power. During our last tenure, inspite of working against a brute majority enjoyed by the then/present President Mangha Singh Bakhshi, we ensured the promotion and development of hockey with complete financial support from our well wishers who appreciated our efforts in being genuine hockey lovers,” he reiterated.

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