Taking away of Champions Trophy leaves HI and IHF fuming

Last Updated: Sep 06, 2011, 15:54 PM IST

New Delhi: Hockey India was left astounded by FIH`s decision to snatch away the hosting rights of the Champions Trophy while Indian Hockey Federation accused the world governing body of `blackmailing` and interference.

FIH on Tuesday announced that it was taking away the hosting rights of the prestigious tournament, which was to be held later this year, because of the issues concerning game`s governance in India.

Hockey India Secretary General Narinder Batra said since FIH President Leandro Negre was scheduled to meet the Indian Sports Minister Ajay Maken next week, the decision has left them shocked.

"We are shocked and disappointed. We did not have any hint of this happening. They did not even spoke to us before taking such a big decision," Batra said.

"If their decision is based on the power-sharing formula between HI and IHF, then it`s really not appropriate. The agreement has not been implemented yet neither we have got a letter in this regard from the ministry. Then what was the hurry," Batra said.

India Hockey Federation Secretary General Ashok Mathur said they do not understand why FIH came up with a decision like this.

"It`s absolutely blackmailing. They knew about the initiative of the Sports ministry beforehand then this sudden decision is beyond understanding," Mathur said.

"FIH has always interfered in India`s matters but this time they have crossed the limit. If it (governance) was the issue then why India was allowed to host the World Cup? The situation was the same at that time also."

Mathur said it was in FIH`s interest to let India host the World Cup.

"They made a lot of money out of this. Despite this, they are treating India like this. It`s a big loss for Indian hockey. If they had any objection to our agreement then why did they asked us not to resort to legal action? Even Negre had even welcomed this agreement, then what has happened now?" a peeved Mathur said.

"The initiative was taken by the Sports Ministry. How we could say no to the government."

PTI