Hockey India (HI) can't hold elections on January 29. That's the verdict of SK Mendiratta, the Sports Ministry-appointed observer for the elections.
The observer has asked HI officials to postpone the elections till the affiliation process is settled once and for all.
"As per their (HI) by-laws, they were supposed to release the election notice today (Jan 8). As they have failed to do that, the elections stand cancelled," Mendiratta told Hindustan Times over phone from New Delhi.
Mendiratta, the legal counsel of the Election Commission of India, had asked HI to issue a notice 21 days before the day it wanted to hold elections, (which was Friday for January 29 elections), and also to release a list of affiliated state units and the electoral college by January 10.
"As HI has not been able to complete the affiliation process, they cannot issue the notice. I have been told that they will take a final decision on Monday. So, the notice could be issued only after that and elections held 21 days after the notice," said Mendiratta.
HI officials admitted that elections could not take place on January 29. "But it will be held before the World Cup, that is for sure. We will be sitting with FIH officials and the government-appointed observer and decide the new date," said HI president AK Mattoo.
On Monday, HI will take a final decision on the affiliation applications of some states including Punjab, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.