Hopes soared and then went into a tailspin as another round of talks to solve the hockey governance issue failed on Thursday. Even the presence of international hockey federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre and the world body's COO Kelly Fairweather was not enough to goad the two bodies into resolving their differences.
Reports were in circulation that Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Hockey India were in talks and close to inking a unification deal. When the participants dispersed for lunch on Thursday afternoon, it was claimed that the two sides had agreed to put in place a unified body that would be governed by a six-member council till elections are held in 2014. The complete merger of state units was to be done by September so that the FIH could get the power-sharing formula approved at its annual congress in November.
However, the euphoria was soon replaced by feeling of déjà vu as the IHF rejected the agreement, more or less similar to the one hammered out by the sports ministry in June last year and abandoned because of opposition from IOA and FIH, because HI and FIH wanted it to dissolve IHF without the new body in place. "IHF has legally binding contract with Nimbus to run the WSH. With hundreds of players and affiliated units linked to IHF, how can we dissolve the body in a jiffy. What would be our position if they renege on the agreement later?" questioned an IHF member.