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WSH organisers want government to mediate with HI

Updated: Dec 10, 2011, 22:44 PM IST

New Delhi: The organisers of the World Series Hockey (WSH) seem to be looking up to the Union sports ministry to broker peace between them and Hockey India (HI) so that the much-touted pro league is launched with the full complement of India players taking part in it.

The organisers, who were to firm up their decision Saturday whether to go ahead with the league as scheduled, could not do so because they could not meet Sports Minister Ajay Maken and Sports Authority of India (SAI) director general Desh Deeepak Verma.

An IHF source told IANS that the organisers could not decide on rescheduling the event Saturday as they were waiting for the feednack on the interaction between the government and HI.

The organisers will now seek a meeting with the minister Monday and only then they will take a call on the future of the inaugural WSH season.

The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), which is holding the league with sports management group Nimbus Sports, dropped enough hints to request the sports ministry to take up their cause with HI, which insists on the players concentrating on the Olympic qualifiers without any distractions.

The Dec 17-Jan 22 WSH is clashing with the national camp, starting Sunday, for the Feb 15-26 London Olympic qualification tournament here.

If the organisers decide to go ahead with the league as scheduled, the national players will give it a miss as they have given an undertaking to HI that they would attend the camp in Bangalore.

Organisers showed willingness to tweak the dates, provided HI gives them an undertaking that it will not put any more hurdles in the players` participation. This they did in the Delhi High Court which was hearing the PIL filed by former India coach Joaquim Carvalho.

The organisers, along with some Olympians, met the sports ministry officials, requesting them to take up the matter with HI in a bid to find an amicable solution.

The thinking in HI is that they are not in a position to give any such assurance as WSH has been labelled as an unsanctioned event by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). Also, if India qualifies for the London Olympics, they will have to draw a schedule for their preparation for the mega event, which they cannot plan now.