Hockey India will now hold elections in the first week of February 2010, just a couple of weeks before the men’s World Cup commences in New Delhi, from February 28.
With the international hockey federation (FIH) sticking to its demand for a democratically elected body in place before the World Cup, Hockey India (HI) had to agree to conduct the elections before the mega event.
“We presented our case before the FIH vice-president Antonio von Ondarza and informed him of the affiliation process. The FIH delegation agreed with the process but wanted us to take up issues that were brought to their notice. We accepted their suggestion and decided to postpone the elections,” HI president AK Mattoo told HT over phone from New Delhi.
Mattoo claimed HI has not received any complaints over the affiliation process and has requested the FIH to forward to them whatever it had received. “We will take up all the claims for affiliation and scrutinise them before taking a final decision. Therefore the elections will be held in the first week of February,” Mattoo added. Though HI claimed paucity of time for conducting the entire affiliation process anew and sought time till after the World Cup, Von Ondarza would have nothing of that.
Von Ondarza also found support in sports minister MS Gill when the two met on Friday. “Both of us are of the same view. We will assist in every way to see that it is done,” said Gill.