FIH threatens to thwart India`s participation in Olympics

New Delhi: The FIH has issued a veiled threat to block India`s participation in the 2012 London Olympics in case the government does not grant Hockey India the status of National Sports Federation and if all lawsuits, including the one filed by IHF against it, are not terminated.

Federation Internationale de Hockey (FIH), the world governing body of the game, shot a letter to Sports Secretary Sindhusree Khullar, asking the government to comply with the requirement of the IOC charter and FIH statutes.

The FIH, in the letter, reminded the government the points which were agreed upon when its president Leandro Negre met sports minister Ajay Maken.

Just before Negre`s arrival, FIH had stripped India of the hosting rights of Champions Trophy and moved the elite event to New Zealand because of the game`s governance issues.

The FIH letter, signed by Negre, mentions seven issues, including the payment India owe to FIH with regard to hosting of the 2010 World Cup.

The FIH has asked the government to "advise Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) not to proceed with the implementation of the broad arrangement reached on July 25"with regard to governance of the game in the country.

The FIH has also asked the "government to recognise Hockey India under its guidelines as the National Sports Federation with complete and exclusive authority to govern men`s and women`s hockey in India, in respect of both national competitions and Indian participation in international competitions.

The letter also says that the Indian government will not fund or support any hockey event, which is not sanctioned by FIH and/or Hockey India.

Apart from asking the government to clear all the dues by writing to the concerned bank, the FIH wanted all lawsuits and other claims about who has the right to govern hockey in India, to be resolved and terminated.

"If the above is achieved, then there will be full compliance with the requirement of the IOC Charter and the FIH statutes and there will be no more concerns about the participation of Indian hockey team in FIH-sanctioned competitions such as London 2012 Olympic Games," the letter read.