International hockey federation (FIH) president, Leandro Negre, has reportedly postponed his India visit because of visa problems. Negre, along with two other officials — FIH vice-president Antonio von Ondarza and chief executive officer Kelly Fairweather — was scheduled to arrive in the Capital on Tuesday to meet the two warring factions of hockey in the country.
The delegation is now expected to visit the country at the end of this month. Though FIH is trying hard to end the dispute, the mood in the warring camps is far from reconciliatory. “The issue of merger doesn't arise,” HI secretary-general Narinder Batra said on Tuesday. “If they (IHF) want to co-operate with us, we will give it a thought.”
He also brushed aside rumours that a new hockey body was on the anvil. “There is no question of forming a new body. HI is recognised by the FIH. It will continue to look after the affairs of hockey in the country.”
IHF president, RK Shetty, refused to shed much light on the issue, saying, “The FIH is taking initiative to settle the dispute; if it works fine, good, otherwise let things be as they are.”
Chhetri to lead
Goalkeeper Bharat Chhetri will lead the India team in the four-nation Olympic test event beginning in London on May 2. Apart from hosts England, Australia, Germany and India are the other teams.