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FIH rejects interim settlement between HI-IHF

July 29, 2011 19:36 IST

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) dealt a major blow to Sports Ministry's effort of reconciliation between Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation by rejecting the interim "working relationship" between the two warring bodies.

The FIH said that it was "surprised and disappointed" to learn about the temporary arrangement and threatened to take away the hosting rights of men's Champions Trophy (in December) and next year's Olympic Qualifiers from India if the situation remains the same.

The world body also made it clear that it recognises only HI as the sole governing body for hockey in India.

"The FIH has expressed to the Indian Sports Minister its grave concern about the 'settlement' recently announced between Hockey India (HI) and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), without prior consultation with the FIH.

"It is a fundamental and non-negotiable requirement of the Olympic Charter and the FIH Statutes (and indeed of the Indian Government's own guidelines and draft sports bill) that there can only be one governing body for a sport in each country with exclusive authority and responsibility to govern, organise national competitions and to enter national teams in international competitions," FIH said in a statement.

"The FIH recognises HI as the governing body for hockey in India. The FIH does not recognise IHF and has not done so since 2000. The FIH is therefore surprised and disappointed to learn that the proposal now is simply, as a temporary fix, to transfer governance authority in India from HI to a new 'joint executive committee' controlled jointly by HI and the IHF and 'co-chaired' by the HI and IHF presidents," it said.

The FIH Executive Board has decided that it was neither possible nor appropriate to continue with the discussions with HI to host tournaments in India over the next 4 year cycle, particularly the FIH Men's Champions Trophy (December 2011), and the FIH Men's and Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (February 2012).

The FIH also said that it's president Leandro Negre had already shot off a letter to Indian Sports Minister Ajay Maken, wherein he expressed his disappointment over the interim arrangement and hoped for an early solution to the crisis, failing which India would lose the hosting rights of major international events.

"The FIH greatly regrets this decision but feels that it is left with no alternative in the circumstances. The FIH has always been and remains committed to the success of hockey in India. It hopes that a resolution that complies with the Olympic Charter and the FIH Statutes can be found quickly," the statement said.

"The FIH Executive Board is obliged to uphold the Olympic Charter and the FIH Statutes. The FIH President has therefore written to the Indian Sports Minister, calling for an urgent meeting, involving the Presidents of HI and the IOA, to discuss the FIH's concerns and the ramifications of the current proposal for India's role in world hockey."

Stating that the compromise formula does not comply with FIH's statues, the world body reiterated that it does not approve of any unauthorised events like the proposed World Series Hockey of IHF and Nimbus Sports.

"This compromise fails to resolve the fundamental underlying issues that have blighted Indian hockey for so long.

"In addition, it does not comply with the FIH Statutes, which do not permit a member to transfer or share its powers to another body that is not a member of or bound by the FIH Statutes, still less to share its powers with a body (the IHF) that is involved in organising an unsanctioned event (World Series Hockey), participation in which is prohibited under the FIH Statutes," the statement said.

The FIH's stance has put paid to ministry's effort of brokering peace between HI and IHF, who on Sunday agreed to jointly work together under a temporary arrangement till December 2012 for the betterment of the game without forming a unified body.

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