Govt restores recognition to IHF
New Delhi: Two years after it was de-rocognised under controversial circumstances, Indian Hockey Federation on Friday got the government’s recognition as the sole National Sports Federation to run the game in the country.
The Sports Ministry informed this in a letter to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) while also intimating its decision to derecognise Hockey India which completed its controversial elections on Thursday.
“Government has derecognised Hockey India by a speaking order on August 5, 2010, a copy of which has been endorsed to you. As such, HI is no more the recognised NSF for management, control and promotion of hockey in the country, and is also not authorised to select and field national team in international competitions,” a letter from the Sports Ministry addressed to FIH chief Lendro Negre said.
“In view of this development, the IHF stands recognized by the government as the sole NSF in India in the light of the judgement dated 21.05.2010 of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in a Writ Petition, which has also been accepted by Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as well as the HI before the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi...” the ministry letter said.
“You are requested not to assign any international tournament or have any commercial dealings with HI under the impression that they are the NSF for hockey in India because they no longer enjoy government recognition and have assumed the character of a private body,” it added.
The Ministry informed FIH that IHF was in the process of unification with Indian Women’s Hockey Federation and post-merger it would apply for affiliation to the international body.
“The president IHF has confirmed to government that the process of unification of men and women hockey bodies at the national level is underway and is expected to be completed soon.
“Once this process is completed and IHF becomes fully compliant of with the constitution of the FIH, they will approach FIH for recognition/affiliation/membership. This process is expected to be completed very soon and the government will closely monitor it,” it said.
“We are confident that post unification of men and women bodies, the IHF would completely meet the constitutional requirements of FIH. It may kindly be noted that IHF is a long standing body, which was set up in 1928 and the IWHF too was set up in 1951. Hence, post-merger there should not be any doubt about their capacity to take care of the promotion and development of hockey in India,” the Sports Ministry letter said.
The Sports Ministry said till the time IHF completes the formalities, the IOA or the Sports Authority of India be allowed to field Indian team for international events.
“In the meanwhile, it is requested that IOA or SAI may be permitted to field Indian team for participating in various FIH recognised competitions. This would be necessary in the interest of hockey in India,” the ministry letter said.
“We sincerely expect to receive full support and cooperation of FIH in restoring hockey to the position it deserves in the country,” the letter added.
The IHF was disaffiliated by the IOA in April 2008 and its president KPS Gill sacked after nearly 15 years at the helm after its secretary was caught on camera for corrupt practices. The Sports Ministry then derecognised the body.
With Friday’s development, Hockey India’s future seems uncertain and ironically this happened after it conducted its controversial elections yesterday by defying the government guideline on age limitation of office bearers.