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


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