The Supreme Court on Friday permitted the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Hockey India (HI) to select and field the men's and women's hockey teams for the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games.
“There is much ado about nothing”, said the court, pointing to the contentions being raised by the sports ministry and Hockey India.
The court's observation came while taking note of HI's submission that 27 players have been short-listed and were being trained by coaches at Pune and that a selection committee of eminent hockey players Zafar Iqbal, Ajit Pal Singh, Govinda and Balbir Singh will pick the final squad.
The court was told that the selection team, coaches and the all expanses of the players was being bourn by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
Taking note of the fact that the world over, even coaches were involved in the selection of teams, the court said that the coaches of the men's and women's hockey teams too would be involved in the process.
“It is unfortunate that we have to decide something which should have been decided by the sports authorities”, said an apex court bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice H.L. Gokhale.
Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, while contesting the claim of the HI to sponsor the team, said that the format of international sporting events and Olympic events was not valid for the Commonwealth Games as its federation was dealing with sporting activities.
The issue was clinched in the favour of HI after the Indian Hockey Federation said that it was not affiliated to the FIH world governing body and thus could not sponsor the team.
The IOA, which was being sponsored by the sports ministry, said that it was just an apex body and depended on national sports federation for organizing events. It said that it would require HI for sponsoring the hockey team.
The court said that if the IOA wanted to have any additional members on the selection committee then it could nominate them.