New Delhi: Peeved by the FIH’s stand to recognise Hockey India, the Sports Ministry today maintained that HI had no right to select teams as it was a “private body” and that IHF should be given time to be fully compliant with world governing body’s guidelines.
The ministry also asked the FIH not to deal with HI any more as it has lost its national character and allow the IOA or the Sports Authority of India to field the Indian team for international events till the issue was resolved.
In a letter addressed to FIH president Leandro Negre, joint secretary Injeti Srinivas said Hockey India (HI) is just a private body now and doesn’t have the rights to select the team for international competitions.
“HI has lost its national character and therefore can not be allowed to select or field the national team anymore. We, therefore, once again request FIH to reconsider their decision and allow the IOA or the Sport Authority to field the Indian team in international competitions recognised by FIH, pending IHF becoming fully compliant with and gaining the recognition of FIH,” Srinivas said in his letter.
Srinivas assured Negre that IHF and IWHF will soon amalgamate into a single society and will be fully compliant with the governing body’s charter, after which the KPS Gill-led body will approach FIH for recognition.
“We fully appreciate and respect the statute of FIH, and there is no question of the Government compelling FIH to act in violation of their statute. Our letter of August 6th, 2010 clearly states that IHF and IWHF have been asked to amalgamate into a single society in accordance with the provisions of the society Registration Act, 1860,” he said.
“This is a legal process that takes a minimum of 8 to 12 weeks. Once they complete this, they would become compliant with the requirements of FIH and only then, would they approach FIH for recognition”, the letter said.
“In your letter under reference, you have written that IWHF have already merged into HI in 2008, which is factually not correct. HI and IWHF are two distinct societies even now, and there can be no merger without going through the legal process required to be undergone as per the relevant provisions of the societies registration Act”, Srinivas said.
“As a matter of fact, IHF has given an undertaking before the Delhi High Court today that IWHF and IHF will amalgamate into a single society as per law, which has been noted by the court,” he added.
Srinivas cautioned the FIH not to deal with Hockey India as they have admitted before the court that they are a private body and soon it has to change its name too to fit with its private character.
“HI have declared before the courts, including the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, that they are a private body and not amenable to writ jurisdiction. Since the functions of an NSF fall within the realm of public duties it is not tenable for a private body to carry out these activities,” he said.
“Since HI stands derecognised and is no more authorized to function as the NSF for hockey in India, it has to change its name and revise its memorandum of Association to fit with its private character. The registrar of societies has been informed accordingly,” he added.
Sport Ministry recently withdrew its provisional recognition from Hockey India after it refused to comply with the government guideline on age limitation and went ahead with its elections.
The ministry then recognised the KPS Gill-led IHF as the sole governing body of the sport and dashed off a letter to FIH president Negre, intimating him of the development and asking him to recognise IHF.
However, FIH made it clear that Hockey India remains the sole recognised body as it was satified with its compliance with its statutes.