The international hockey federation (FIH) on Friday rejected the settlement reached by the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Hockey India (HI) as untenable under its statutes, and threatened to strip India of the hosting rights to the Champions Trophy and Olympic Qualifying Tournaments. The two events are scheduled to be held in New Delhi in December and February.
The two rival bodies had signed a working agreement under the aegis of the sports ministry on Monday, setting up a unified executive board and handing over important functions like team selection and hosting national championships to an eight-member working committee, comprising four members from each side.
Endorsing the deal, the ministry had agreed to give HI provisional affiliation till December 2012 while continuing with the recognition granted to IHF, thus recognising the two bodies.
Expressing concern over the settlement thrashed out without consulting it, the FIH said there could be only one governing body for a sport in a country as per its statutes and Olympic Charter.
As per the FIH, HI was the only recognised body in India and it couldn't hand over its responsibilities to an unrecognised entity, the statement said.
Reiterating its resolve not to deal with the IHF, the FIH has sought a meeting with sports minister, Ajay Maken, along with presidents of HI and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to discuss its concerns and ramifications of the agreement.
Ministry rejects FIH concerns
When contacted, a ministry spokesperson said Maken would be consulted after he returned from New York, and opted to react after going through the details. IHF president, RK Shetty, also adopted a similar line. HI refused to comment as secretary general, Narinder Batra, is out of the country.
However, sources told HT that the government is likely to reject the FIH's stand on the issue. "This is an internal matter and the FIH has no right to interfere in an agreement entered into by two domestic federations who want to work together," said a senior ministry official. If the FIH remains firm, not only does India stand to lose the hosting rights of international events, they could also be kept out of the London Olympics.