Veteran sports administrator Ashok Mattoo no more
New Delhi, Dec 27 (PTI) Veteran sports administrator Ashok Kumar Mattoo, who headed the national boxing and hockey federations at different times, passed away today after prolonged illness.
He was 75 and is survived by his wife and two daughters.
"Mr Mattoo was unwell for the past 5-6 months. There was nothing in particular but he had been suffering from a lot of age-related ailments because of which he had to be hospitalised as well," Mattoo's close friend and colleague at the now-defunct Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF), Ashok Gangopadhyay, told PTI.
"He passed away this morning around 8.30," he added.
Highly respected in the Indian sports fraternity, Mattoo served as IABF President for 16 years, the first stint being 1980 to 1989. He came back to take charge in 1993 and served till 2001 before being replaced by Abhay Singh Chautala.
"It is a huge loss for Indian boxing. Mr Mattoo was not just a great administrator but also a wonderful human being. He will be missed," said current chief boxing coach S R Singh.
Mattoo also served as the first President of Hockey India, when it came into existence in 2009. He resigned in 2010 following the body's pay dispute with the players, which was resolved after intervention from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
Mattoo was also the Treasurer of the IOA at that time and served in the same position in the 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee.
Admired as a man of integrity by his administrative colleagues as well as athletes, Mattoo resigned from the CWG Organising Committee in 2010 when the allegations of corruption first came out.
However, he was brought back into the position within months when his replacement Anil Khanna had to step down after charges of impropriety came up against him.
Mattoo was also India's chef-de-mission at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and 1988 Seoul Olympics.
"He was a veteran sports administrator who was known for his integrity. The entire sporting fraternity will miss him. On behalf of the IOA family, I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family," IOA President Narinder Batra said