Ministry fails; IOA gives 21-day time to HI, IHF to sign peace

New Delhi: The Sports Ministry`s effort to end the long-standing imbroglio in Indian hockey ended on a futile note as differences continued to persist between Hockey India and IHF even as IOA on Fridaygave a 21-day deadline to both the bodies to present a new merger propopsal.

Faced with the prospect of India`s hockey team being ousted from the race to the Olympics, the sports ministry held a meeting with the Indian Olympic Association, HI and the Indian Hockey Federation today but it too failed to resolve the crisis related to the game`s governance in the country, forcing the IOA to issue an ultimatum to the two warring federations.

Soon after emerging from the meeting, a peeved HI secretary general Narinder Batra said that the temporary power-sharing arrangement reached between both the federations on the behest of the ministry was over.

He made it clear that HI was not going to present any new proposal to IOA and would stick to the 10-point agenda made by the government.

"We will reply to FIH before November 1 deadline but the working agreement reached on July 25 at ministry`s intervention has ended," he said.

"We will not present any new proposal. We have already made our stand clear and we will stick to that.

"Let IHF present their proposal (to IOA). If IHF`s proposal is within the 10-point formula of the government then we have no problem, otherwise court will decide the matter," he added.

IHF president R K Shetty blamed the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for the whole mess.

"We will reply to IOA before the 21-day time. But the FIH played a big role in this fiasco. FIH has no right to interfere in our national affairs," he said.

"The government is not FIH`s servant. How can FIH refuse to accept government`s point of view? Shetty questioned.

Apart from Batra and Shetty, the meeting was also attended by ministry`s joint secretary Rahul Bhatnagar, KPS Gill, Ashok Mathur and Amrit Bose (all from IHF), Rajeev Mehta (HI) and R K Anand (IOA).


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