Maken assures to look into World Cup sponsorship payment: FIH

New Delhi: International Hockey Federation has received an assurance from Sports Minister Ajay Maken that he will intervene in Indian Hockey Confederation`s (IHC) threat to block sponsorship payment of USD 486,000 by the 2010 World Cup organisers, according to a top FIH official.

The confederation, which claims to have signed the original document with the FIH relating to the hosting of the event, is reported to be alleging breach of contract and an intended violation of the Foreign Exchange Act to justify blocking the payment.

Kelly Fairweather, chief executive of the FIH, said, "They [the confederation] don`t have any status. They were suspended back in 2008, so that`s now almost three years ago. I was as surprised as anybody to see this. We were given a commitment by the minister that the money relating to the World Cup, which has been outstanding for some time, would be paid back."

"This is a last-ditch attempt by the IHC to throw a spanner in the works. We didn`t think it was an issue, we thought it was just a question of getting it cleared. We had a commitment from the sports minister this week," he added.

The move by the confederation, a body that represented the men`s and women`s hockey federations in India, followed a controversial decision earlier this week by the FIH to strip India of the Champions Trophy and award it to Auckland in New Zealand instead.

The FIH`s decision came in response to a long-running power struggle between Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation, two bodies purporting to govern the sport in India.

The IHF formerly made up part of the Indian Hockey Confederation.


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