Hockey India should manage game in India: IOA Committee

Updated: Sep 06, 2012, 22:22 PM IST

New Delhi: The IOA special committee, formed to resolve the issue of who should run hockey in the country, has "unanimously" ruled in favour of Hockey India, saying it conforms to all FIH statutes.

The power tussle between Hockey India (HI) and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) had prompted world governing body of the game FIH to instruct IOA to resolve the issue.

Indian Olympic Assocation (IOA) then formed a three-member committee comprising former Wrestling Federation of India president G S Mander, the Indian Weightlifting Federation president Birendra Prasad Baishya and the Handball Federation of India secretary-general S.M. Bali.

The committee submitted its report yesterday to IOA and concluded that Hockey India should manage the game.

IHF had rejected the committee saying its members were biased against them and did not present their case to the it.

"This decision is a unanimous decision. There is overwhelming evidence to conclude that Hockey India is a central authority responsible to run the game in the country," Mander told PTI.

"FIH has directed IOA to confirm and endorse which of the two bodies is the central authority responsible for all matters relating to hockey in India as required under article 6.3 (d) of the FIH Statutes. We have decided in the favour Hockey India," Mander said.

The Chairman of the committee said, they went through more than 1000 pages of written submission, claims and counter claims and decided on issue independently before writing the unanimous recommendation.

"We gave each of the two bodies enough chance to make their representation. There was personal hearing also. From HI side Secretary General Narinder Batra turned up on August 27 but nobody came from IHF side for personal hearing. We gave them (IHF) two more chances on August 30 and 31 but again they did not turn up."

According to Mander what titled the decision in favour of Hockey Indian was that it conformed to all FIH rules such as having a common body for both men`s and women`s sport.

"IHF never had a unified body for men and women. Even after repeated directions from the FIH to merge men`s and women`s sport bodies, they did not do it. IHF and IWHF function independently and separately.

"In case of HI, 40 percent of Executive members were females. So this conforms to FIH statute. It has both men`s and women`s units under it whereas IHF has only men`s units and no women unit under it," Mander explained.

He also rejected IHF`s criticism of the committee.

"We rejected IHF argument. Moreover FIH and IOA wrote back to IHF that under a Supreme Court decision (Lalit Modi vs BCCI) an in-house committee can be set up by the management of the sport body to enquire into any matter," he asserted.