New Delhi: In a move which could derail the
ambitious plan of the Indian Hockey Federation to organise a
World Series of Hockey in the country, the FIH has threatened
to bar players and National Associations from participating in
Olympic Games, if they associate themselves with the league.
IHF in collaboration with Nimbus India, a sports
marketing agency, had launched the WSH in December 2010 in
presence of Indian hockey team players Sandeep Singh, Sardara
Singh, Adrian D`Souza, Dhananjay Mahadik and Gurjinder Singh.
A few international players were also reported to be
interested in becoming a part of the league.
FIH, the world governing body of the game, has written a
letter to all the National Associations (NAs) affiliated to
it, stating that it does not recognise any such league and
"players and NAs will be rendered inelgibile to partipiate in
the Olympic qualifying tournaments and the Games" if they
become a part of WSH.
FIH said it is working with Hockey India, the only
recognised body to govern the game in the country, for quite
some time to establish a professional league in the country.
"FIH has received reports from some national associations
(NAs) that some of their players have been approached from
agencies supposing to represent franchises that will
participate in the new league.
"FIH states that it does not recognize the WSH. FIH notes
that matches in the WSH may conflict with FIH major events,
which may compromise an athlete`s participation in their
national team program.”
"No player and no NA should accept any involvement in the
WSH without first consulting the CEO of FIH, Kelly
Fairweather," the letter read.
FIH also said the their own league "will carry the
endorsement of the FIH and HI" and is expected to make a
further announcement after the meeting of the Executive Board
to be held in the first week of March, 2011.
Nimbus Sport and IHF have entered into a 15-year
agreement to conduct the annual league spread over 10 cities
in India and the first edition is expected to take place later
this year after the Champions Trophy.