FIH wrong to withdraw Champions Trophy from India: Malhotra

Last Updated: Sep 13, 2011, 21:39 PM IST

New Delhi: IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra on Tuesday said that the International Hockey Federation (FIH) was "wrong" on its part to withdraw the Champions Trophy from India on the pretext that there should be only one federation running the sport in the country.

Malhotra said that as both IOA and FIH recognise only one federation -- Hockey India -- as the sole body looking after the game in the country, the contention on which FIH moved the event out of the country stands baseless.

"During my meeting with FIH president Leandro Negre, I told him that when both IOA and FIH recognise only Hockey India as the only body running the game in the country, then what`s the need of moving the Champions Trophy out of India," said Malhotra.

"When we both are on the same path, you shouldn`t have withdrawn the event. It was not right on their part to give the hosting rights to New Zealand. The reason given by FIH was totally wrong. I told them why are you engaging in talks with the government when the National Olympics Committee does not deal with the government directly as it has its own separate charter," added Malhotra.

India on Tuesday lost the hosting rights of the Champions Trophy, which was initially alloted to the country, to New Zealand after failing to resolve the power struggle between HI and IHF.

Malhotra said he has asked Negre to reconsider his decision but added that the FIH president remained "non-committal".

"I have requested him (Negre) to reconsider the decision. He said it was impossible with only nine weeks left for organising the event. I said that nowadays communication has become very fast and if you can`t call the meeting of the executive board then by circulation of mails you can discuss the matter with them.

"You can tell your executive board members that the very basis on which action was taken stands wrong and we should again discuss the matter," said Malhotra.

"We will write to them again, we will write to the government also that IOA recognises only one federation. There should be only one body and that body will not be an artificial one," he added.

Malhotra also said that the two warring factions -- HI and IHF -- also have to be blamed somewhere because they did not keep the IOA in the loop before deciding on their own.

"FIH came to know about the merger between HI and IHF in July. During our meeting, Negre said given the complex nature of developments, FIH has decided to shift the Champions Trophy to New Zealand from India. The decision by FIH was taken purely on the basis of merger statement sent by the Sports Ministry in July to them."

The veteran administrator said Negre has promised him that today`s decision will not result in India losing the rights to host Olympic qualifiers next year in February.

"I am convinced that Olympics qualifiers will remain in India."

PTI