The Sports Ministry's effort to end the long-standing imbroglio in India [ Images ]n hockey ended on a futile note as differences between Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation continue to persist, even as the IOA gave a 21-day deadline to both the bodies to present a new merger proposal.
Faced with the prospect of India's hockey team being ousted from the race to the Olympics [ Images ], the sports ministry held a meeting with the Indian Olympic Association, Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation on Friday, but it too failed to resolve the crisis related to the game's governance in the country, forcing the IOA to issue an ultimatum to the two warring federations.
Soon after emerging from the meeting, a peeved Hockey India secretary-general Narinder Batra said the temporary power-sharing arrangement reached between both the federations at the behest of the ministry was over.
He made it clear that Hockey India is not going to present any new proposal to IOA and would stick to the 10-point agenda made by the government.
"We will reply to the FIH before November 1 deadline, but the working agreement reached on July 25 at the ministry's intervention has ended," he said.
"We will not present any new proposal. We have already made our stand clear and we will stick to that.
"Let IHF present their proposal [to IOA]. If IHF's proposal is within the 10-point formula of the government then we have no problem; otherwise, court will decide the matter," he added.
IHF president R K Shetty blamed the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for the whole mess.
"We will reply to IOA before the 21-day time. But the FIH played a big role in this fiasco. FIH has no right to interfere in our national affairs," he said.
"The government is not FIH's servant. How can FIH refuse to accept government's point of view? Shetty questioned.
Apart from Batra and Shetty, the meeting was also attended by the ministry's joint-secretary, Rahul Bhatnagar, KPS Gill, Ashok Mathur and Amrit Bose (all from IHF), Rajeev Mehta (Hockey India) and R K Anand (IOA).