IOA call urgent meeting of HI and IHF on October 4

New Delhi: Taking a serious note of FIH`s threat to stop India`s participation in London Olympics if issues relating to the game`s governance in the country were not resolved, the IOA has convened an urgent meeting of Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation here on October 4.

The meeting will discuss issues raised by the FIH in its letter to Sports Secretary, Sindhusree Khullar and will try to find out an amicable solution to the satisfaction of all, IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said in a statement on Friday .

"I am quiet hopeful that in the interest of the country and the game, the matter will be resolved," he said.

In its letter to the Sports Ministry, dated September 27, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has warned that India`s participation in next year`s London Olympics and other international tournaments may be jeopardised if IOC charter and FIH statutes were not adhered to while resolving the issues related to the governance of the game in the country.

The FIH may have taken away the hosting rights of this year`s Champions Trophy from India because of the long-standing power-struggle between HI and IHF, Malhotra was optimistic about the country staging the Olympic qualifier next year.

"My optimism is based on my talks with FIH president Leandro Negre here last month, during which I made IOA`s stand very clear on the issues raised by him," he said.

"IOA is totally committed to the IOC charter which clearly states only one association for one sports. I told Mr Negre in no uncertain terms that we do not approve of two federations for one game, be it hockey or any other discipline," he added.

The IOA president, however, expressed surprise over FIH`s dependency on the government in resolving the dispute.

"The IOC charter, by which FIH also swears, clearly states that government should not intervene in the dispute of a federation where the NOC is looking into it.

"IOA is keenly monitoring the developments relating to hockey and recognises HI as the sole body for the game, so why FIH wants to involve the government?" Malhotra questioned.

"IOA is the supreme sports body in the country and all the national federations and associations function under it. No body can function without its approval and recognition so FIH`s fetish to insist on government intervention, which clearly goes against the IOC charter is surprising," he added.

The FIH letter, signed by president Leandro Negre, mentions seven issues, including the payment India owe to FIH with regard to hosting of the 2010 World Cup. It said that all lawsuits relating to the governance of hockey "must be finally resolved and terminated."

The FIH also insisted the government recognise HI as the sole governing body of the sport in India and not support any other unsanctioned organisation.

Malhotra said the judiciary is very independent in India and no body dare dictate it.

He also reminded the FIH that India remains the heart and soul of hockey.

"It is just not conceivable to see hockey progress in the world, without India," Malhotra said.


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