HI-IHF interim arrangement has confusions galore

HI-IHF interim arrangement has confusions galore New Delhi: The officials of Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation may have reached an agreement on temporary arrangement at the behest of the Sports Ministry but both parties are apprehensive about how the working relationship will be.

First and foremost, the Hockey India hasn't gained anything with this arrangement while it has been perceived to be a win-win situation for Indian Hockey Federation.

"This arrangement can only work if there is honesty among both parties," HI secretary general Narinder Batra said after the joint press conference with IHF president R K Shetty was over.

The most difficult moment for both Batra and Shetty came when both were asked about who will call the shots.

If there is any problem, who will address the matter, will it be IHF or HI? To this question neither of them could come up with a satisfactory response.

Not only did the IHF officials get a chance to restore their identity but also a major say in key organisational areas like selection of national team and participation in the international tournaments. At the same time, the confusion regarding World Series Hockey which is promoted by IHF will go ahead as per schedule.

However it has been learnt that all the legal cases will continue.

"We will continue to work together and the law will take its own course," Batra added.

Although Hockey India is about to lift the ban on five players who attended the WSH press meet, the HI secretary general wasn't amused about the player's attitude.

"We will keep in mind the interest of the athletes but national duty comes first."

Now HI will also have their own private league and it is still not clear as to what will be the arrangement about national players playing in both leagues.

Since HI can only communicate with parent body FIH, will the grievances of IHF be suitably addressed? That question also remains unanswered.

Although Shetty expected that "they will share a good working relationship", the final comment from Batra made it amply clear that they were not on the same page.

Batra was asked about his long-time adversary KPS Gill's role in the new set-up. "You people ask very difficult questions. Obviously, he will be mentor," he said with a wry smile.