Ending the suspense over India's future in international hockey, the game's world governing body FIH on Saturday decided to conduct the Olympic Qualifiers in India next year and continue to recognise Hockey India (HI) as the national federation for the sport.
In a major decision, the FIH's executive board in Lausanne unanimously decided to conduct the Olympic Qualifiers and other major hockey events in India, a move which is bound to come as a relief for hockey lovers.
The decision to this effect was conveyed to sports minister Ajay Maken by FIH president Leandro Negre on phone from Lausanne, Switzerland. The Olympic qualifiers are scheduled from February 15 next year.
Maken expressed satisfaction at the decision to conduct the Qualifiers and termed it as a “suitable and logical conclusion” to the efforts that were made by the ministry, HI and the FIH.
With time running out for India to save the hosting rights of next year's Qualifiers, FIH had summoned HI to present its case before the world body's executive council on Saturday.
Paying the price
India had already paid the price for the long-standing power tussle between HI and Indian Hockey Federation over the governance of the game, with the FIH taking away hosting rights of Champions Trophy.
The FIH had also warned that India could be banned from international hockey if the issue of governance was not sorted out. HI was represented in the Lausanne meeting by its secretary-general Narinder Batra and vice-president Rajeev Mehta.
The FIH had made it clear that it was not in favour of two bodies.