Hockey India on Thursday warned players against participating in the national championships, which will be organised by Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), the rival body, in Bhopal next month.
Re-emphasising that HI is still the recognised body for hockey in India, Stokes said that the players should refrain from participation in unauthorised tournaments.
“Strict disciplinary action will be taken against all those who participate in tournaments which are not authorised by Hockey India,” HI president Vidya Stokes said in a statement.
HI was instated when IHF was disaffiliated on charges of corruption in 2008 but a recent court ruling questioning the manner in which IHF was dismantled has breathed a new lease of life into the body and expectedly, leading to HI’s new found insecurity over its future.
While Stokes said the authority to organise local and national tournaments lay completely with HI, IHF remains committed to its plans of organising the championships. IHF President KPS Gill was unfazed about the warning issued. “There are a lot of aspiring hockey players in the country. We don’t care about the warnings and despite it, I am sure that we will enjoy good participation,” he told HT. Gill also added that talks with Indian Women’s Hockey Federation are underway and a formal meeting would be organised later this month.
Despite all warnings and self-assurances, HI seem to be facing a determined IHF that is leaving no stone unturned in their bid to revive.