HI confident of getting back Champions Trophy Hockey
New Delhi: With FIH chief Leandro Negre all set to meet Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Tuesday, Hockey India on Monday expressed confidence that it will able to convince the world governing body of the game to restore the Champions Trophy tournament back to the country.
FIH had stripped the high-profile tournament of India as it raised objection to the way the game is being run in the country. FIH had objections to the recent agreement between the HI and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), which was brokered by the sports ministry, to administer the game.
However, it is learnt that the main reason for FIH to deny India the hosting rights was the pending payment of USD five lakh with regard to last year`s World Cup. The money has been blocked by Reserve Bank of India, according to FIH.
According to sources, FIH was to get Rs one crore and 87 lakh for title sponsorship and the air tickets of the umpires and by the time Negre lands in India, the payment would have been credited to FIH`s account.
HI, IHF and the Sports Ministry officials today met ahead of the meeting.
HI Secretary Narinder Batra was hopeful that India will get back the Champions Trophy.
"I see a ray of hope. FIH has not named new hosts yet. We will ask Negre what are the FIH`s objections Sometimes language creates misunderstandings," Batra said.
Apart from Batra, HI`s Rajeev Mehta, IHF President R K Shetty, advisor KPS Gill and Secretary Ashok Mathur and Rahul Bhatnagar, Joint Seceratry Sports Ministry, were present in the meeting on Monday.
Mathur said that Negre will also meet Hero Honda, the title sponsors of the World Cup.
Mathur said FIH cannot on one hand say that the sports ministry should not interfere in the running of the game in India and on the other ask it to intervene in getting the USD 5 lakh pending payment.
"We contest objections by FIH that two bodies are running the game. It is only HI which is in charge of hockey in the country. HI is an affiliated body to FIH. India will continue to participate in international events under HI banner. We have become party to the agreement with HI to facilitate the management of hockey in the country," he said.
Indian Olympic Association (IOA) boycotted the meeting.
"We are against government`s interference in this matter. We will meet Negre separately tomorrow," IOA acting President Vijay Kumar Malhotra said.