The spat between the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Hockey India (HI) engulfed the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) annual general meeting in Ranchi on Saturday, with the apex body backing HI.
IHF secretary general Ashok Mathur and another representative Alexis Lakra from Ranchi were denied entry to the AGM by IOA officials who claimed that the national Olympic committee recognized Hockey India and not the old body.
The IOA had suspended and disaffiliated IHF in April 2008 but the decision was ruled illegal by a Delhi High Court bench in May 2010. On orders of the court, the sports ministry and IOA wrote to the international hockey federation (FIH), informing the world body that IHF was a recognized body.
Mathur said it is a clear case of contempt of court as IHF's suspension was ruled illegal. By his account, IHF is still a recognized body as the suspension decision was overruled. By refusing to allow him to attend the AGM, IOA has violated the court order. IHF sources claimed that Mathur raised the issue with IOA president Suresh Kalmadi and secretary general Randhir Singh, but both stuck to their decision.
"The IOA showed total disregard to the court order. At various occasions in the court, IOA and Sports Ministry have admitted that IHF is a recognized body while HI has got FIH affiliation. But when I went to attend the IOA AGM today, they claimed that HI is the recognized body," Mathur alleged.
Mathur claimed that IOA officials refused to take a protest letter in this regard.
Mehta has dashed off a protest letter to Kalmadi and senior sports ministry officials.
IOA officials could not be contacted for their reaction.