For long accused of being indifferent in solving the mess in Indian hockey, the Sports Ministry on Monday sprung into action and issued show cause notices to both Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation asking them to explain why their affiliation should not be withdrawn.
The Ministry took exception to Hockey India’s contention that it was a private body and therefore free to conduct its affairs as per its own set of rules and by-laws and sought reasons why the provisional affiliation given to HI till December 31, 2010 not be withdrawn. The Ministry made it clear that HI can’t claim to be a private body and exist as a government-recognised National Sports Federation, which has to function as a public body and subject itself to public accountability.
HI has been asked to give the explanation before holding its elections on Thursday (August 5). “Failure to furnish a satisfactory reply within the time limit stated above will automatically result in withdrawal of recognition to the HI as an NSF for hockey in India,” the Ministry said in the show cause notice signed by Joint Secretary (Sports) Injeti Srinivas.
The show cause notice sent the Hockey India top brass into a huddle with its legal team on Monday night to draft the explanation to the Ministry before the deadline.
The Ministry asked IHF to explain within 14 days as to how it proposes to meet the requirement of FIH of having a unified body for both men and women at the national level so as to comply with the rules and regulations of the international body and get its affiliation. IHF has also been asked to confirm its acceptance to all government guidelines including those regarding tenure and age-limit for NSF office-bearers.
The show cause notices are ministry’s response to the rigid stand taken by both HI and IHF at a meeting called by the Sports Ministry on Saturday to work out ways to have a single NSF for hockey in the country. IHF president KPS Gill asked the Ministry to rebuff the FIH’s growing interference in Indian hockey and opposed the merger of men’s and women’s associations.
HI secretary general Narinder Batra reiterated their stand of being a private body and threatened legal action if forced to merge with IHF.