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'Stop claiming IHF is FIH-recognised'

March 10, 2011 19:01 IST

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has written a strongly-worded letter to the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), asking it to stop claiming that it is an FIH-recognised body.

In a letter to IHF secretary-general Ashok Mathur, FIH president Leandro Negre said Hockey India is the sole and exclusive national governing body for the sport of men's and women's hockey in India.

"Contrary to the claim in your letterhead that the IHF is 'affiliated to FIH', in fact the IHF has not been a member of or otherwise affiliated to the FIH since 2001. The FIH Statutes had been amended with effect from 2000 to require each member national association to be the sole governing body for both men's and women's hockey in its territory," Negre said in his letter to Mathur.

The letter said, "The IHF is required to stop claiming (in its letterhead or otherwise) that it is affiliated to the FIH, because it was not true."

The president further added, "The IHF did not meet the requirement -- women's hockey in India was run by a separate body, the IWHF -- and so the IHF ceased to be a member of the FIH and instead the FIH recognise the Indian Hockey Confederation (the IHC), which was said to unify the IHF and IWHF, as the sole governing body for men's and women's hockey in India."

Negre sent this to the IHF in response to its letter, dated February 28.

Negre also made it clear in his letter that the IHF's objection to FIH's decision of recognising Hockey India is without any basis.

"The objection is without basis: as the IOC-recognised international governing body for the sport of hockey, the FIH has the absolute right under the Olympic Charter and the FIH Statutes to decide who to recognise and admit into the membership as the national governing body for the sport in each territory; and HI meets all the requirements for membership set out in the FIH Statutes."

Negre also informed that IHF's suggestion that decisions by the Indian court and/or the Indian government require the FIH to derecognise HI and to recognise IHF in its place has also been rejected.

"Any interference with the FIH's right to decide whom to recognise as the national governing body for hockey in particular territory would constitute a serious breach of the Olympic Charter that would imperil that nation's participation not only in FIH competitions but also in the Olympic Games.

"Contrary to your (IHF) suggestion, however, as far as the FIH is aware no one is challenging that right," Nerge wrote.

While the Indian Olympic Association recognises HI, the Sports Ministry has given recognition to IHF.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has already held two meetings with representatives of both the bodies to work out a common list but neither is ready to budge.

The sports ministry is all set to mediate in talks between HI and IHF to get the two on the same page before the Supreme Court hearing takes place on Friday.

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