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IOA warns FIH against changing Champions Trophy venue

Source: PTI
August 31, 2011 18:35 IST

The Indian Olympic Association on Wednesday warned the International Hockey Federation (FIH) against changing the venue of this year's Champions Trophy from the Indian capital to any other country.

IOA's Acting President Vijay Kumar Malhotra said the FIH allotted the event to India keeping in view the popularity of the game in the country so any talk of hosting it in any other country at the last moment will have adverse effect on Hockey in the country.

"Hockey is India's national game and it enjoys the support of millions of people. Fans are keenly waiting to see best teams of the world once again playing at the stadium named after 'Wizard' Dhyan Chand," Malhotra said.

He assured FIH Chief Leandro Negre that the dispute with regards to the Hockey administration's set up in India will be sorted out amicably.

"In any case FIH is already dealing with Hockey India (HI) and it should continue to do that".

Malhotra said the IOA is aware that the Government has tried to set up a "wholly unworkable arrangement by having two federations to look after Hockey."

"This however does not mean that India should be deprived of the Champions trophy. FIH should deal with HI and IOA and not with the Government on this issue."

"We have made our stand very clear to the Sports Ministry," he added.

He said the IOA is very keen that Indian hockey regains its glory and sought the FIH's support for it.

"The huge success of World Cup and Hockey competition in the Commonwealth Games is a clear testimony of the Games popularity and it needs further push and encouragement", he said.

"Whatever may be the India's Hockey standing at present but there is no doubt that country remains the hub of the Game as far as the fan following is concerned," Malhotra said.

"You will never get so much emotional response and eye balls for the game as you get in India. So holding the Champions Trophy here will be beneficial for every body involved in the promotion of the game," he added.

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