HI, IHF in talks on unification



HI, IHF in talks on unification Bhopal: Hockey India (HI) and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) are in talks to discuss the sports ministry's proposal for their unification.

HI held its executive committee here Sunday and discussed the proposal, among other issues. Secretary general Narinder Batra said they do not have any problem with the proposal and it was entirely up to the IHF to accept it.

Batra said he will meet IHF president R.K. Shetty Tuesday to discuss the issue. "The proposal of co-option that was put forward by the ministry was done after discussion with HI and IHF and both the federation had given green signal to the proposal. We do not know why they are backing out now," Batra told IANS.

"We have had discussion with IHF and we have to find the best possible way to resolve the impasse. The ministry has also given more time to IHF."

HI had also asked Sahara to increase the sponsorship money. "Sahara has the first right of refusal but we have to look at our requirements also. If a better offer comes from somewhere else we will consider it," said Batra.

The deal with Sahara for the men's and women's junior and senior national teams is approximately worth Rs.3 crore and HI has reportedly asked for it to be hiked to Rs.15-17 crore.

On the selection of a foreign expert, Batra said the short-listed candidates have been asked to appear for an interview in the next 15 days.

Among other things discussed in the HI executive committee was to give affiliation to Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy, who played in the ongoing nationals, and Sashastra Seema Bal.

Batra said after the successful conduct of senior national championship, HI will hold age-groups tournament. The junior national is likely to held in July in Ranchi and the sub-juniors for men has been scheduled in Hyderabad and while Pune will host the women's event in September.

"We are also going to have a developmental side with a pool of 20-25 players."

IANS