The Delhi high court on Monday cleared the way for the players' participation in the World Series Hockey (WSH), a joint initiative of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Nimbus Sport, if the tournament schedule does not clash with international commitments of the national team.
A bench, comprising acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, disposed of a petition by former India hockey captain and coach Joachim Carvalho that Hockey India (HI), which manages the game in the country, be restrained from threatening players that they would not be considered for national duty if they participate in WSH, an IPL-like initiative for hockey of rival group IHF.
"We are of the opinion that the matter can be placed before the International Hockey Federation (FIH) in the same prospective as narrated by us in the judgment. Clarification can be sought from the FIH. At this time, the FIH can be impressed upon to sanction the event (WSH) if it is still required, more so, when the new dates to be fixed by the organisers are not in any way clashing with the schedule fixed by FIH for international events.
"Domestic events can be arranged in such a manner that it does not come in conflict with preparatory camps or the period when the international events are going to be held," the bench said, adding IHF had already agreed to re-schedule WSH.
The court said money flow in the game is "necessary" to "redeem" the past glory of India hockey and ways and means can be found to facilitate participation of players in WSH.
It ruled that regulations of Hockey India restraining players' participation in WSH would only apply "in respect of the commitments made after March 31, 2011.