New Delhi: The sports ministry Tuesday gave a week`s time to the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) to reply to the government proposal on merging with Hockey India (HI).
IHF informed sports minister Ajay Maken that they need more time to discuss the ten-point government proposal, which they thought favoured HI, the recognised hockey body in the country.
"IHF wanted some more time from us to discuss the government proposal. I have given them seven days to reply. Hockey India have agreed to the government proposal and have no problems. But IHF felt they needed some more time to discuss the issues with their members," said Maken.
"We want in writing all the apprehensions and reservations of the IHF," the minister added.
Asked if IHF reject the government proposal, Maken said: "We will take some decisions and inform the Supreme Court which has put the ball in our court."
The Supreme Court, hearing a writ petition and a special leave petition, in its interim order March 11 had asked the government to take appropriate decision in the matter and place it before the court.
IHF secretary general Ashok Mathur said that they were disappointed at some of the government proposal on merger.
"We have sought seven days from the government to reply. We can`t take any decision in haste since IHF is an elected body. We have to consult all the members," Mathur said.
Mathur lauded the government for making an effort to merge the two bodies, but said the proposal are not in the interest of the IHF.
HI secretary general Narinder Batra said they have replied the government.
"We have sent our reply but we don`t want to divulge anything now. The ministry`s idea of co-option is a good decision," he said.
The proposal has suggested that the strength of the executive board of HI, which is recognised by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), be raised to 33 from 17 so that a majority of IHF members could be accommodated.
It virtually means the executive committees of the two outfits get merged. Also former IHF chief K.P.S. Gill is proposed to be the life patron in honorary capacity, but with voting rights. The reconstituted body can run till 2014 when HI elections are due.