In a move which could derail the ambitious plan of the Indian Hockey Federation to organise a World Series of Hockey in the country, the FIH has threatened to bar players and national associations from participating in the Olympic Games if they associate with the league.
The IHF, in collaboration with Nimbus India, a sports marketing agency, had launched the World Series of Hockey in December 2010 in the presence of Indian hockey team players Sandeep Singh, Sardara Singh, Adrian D'Souza, Dhananjay Mahadik and Gurjinder Singh.
A few international players were also reported to be interested in becoming a part of the league.
The FIH, the world governing body of the game, has now written to all the national associations (NAs) affiliated to it, stating that it does not recognise any such league and "players and NAs will be rendered ineligible to participate in the Olympic qualifying tournaments and the Games" if they become a part of WSH.
The FIH said it is working with Hockey India, the only recognised body to govern the game in the country, for quite some time to establish a professional league in India.
"FIH has received reports from some national associations (NAs) that some of their players have been approached from agencies supposing to represent franchises that will participate in the new league.
"FIH states that it does not recognize the WSH. FIH notes that matches in the WSH may conflict with FIH major events, which may compromise an athlete's participation in their national team program.
"No player and no NA should accept any involvement in the WSH without first consulting the CEO of FIH, Kelly Fairweather," the letter read.
FIH also said the their own league "will carry the endorsement of the FIH and HI" and is expected to make a further announcement after the meeting of the Executive Board to be held in the first week of March, 2011.
Nimbus Sport and IHF have entered into a 15-year agreement to conduct the annual league spread over 10 cities in India and the first edition is expected to take place later this year after the Champions Trophy.