It’s been nearly two months since Hockey India came into existence but the unified body has done precious little to hold elections, leave aside uniting the men’s and women’s bodies at the state level.
Even as the unified body unveiled its logo at a glittering ceremony at a posh hotel on Thursday, murmurs doing the rounds suggest that things are far from normal.
On Sunday, the international hockey federation (FIH) chief, Leandro Negre, arrives in the Capital to announce the official sponsor for next year's World Cup. Seeing the slow progress made by the unified body, he might yet again renew his ultimatum of holding elections quickly or risk losing the World Cup.
The reason for the delay in holding elections, it is learnt, is lack of support from the state associations.
According to a top Hockey India official, the support, though not substantial at the moment, is expected to grow.
“Of the 28 state bodies, we have the support of eight. We are looking at a figure of 15 before going ahead with the elections,” said Ashok Kumar Mattoo, president in-charge, Hockey India, during the unveiling of the logo.
As stated in the Hockey India constitution, the apex body needs a minimum of 10 state associations to conduct elections, a figure it is yet to achieve after two months.
So, why the delay in gathering support? “Rather than going to the state bodies, we have asked them to come to us. It is very difficult to go after all the 28 state associations. We are now the registered body under the FIH and if any state body wants recognition, it needs to be registered with Hockey India,” Mattoo said.
Meanwhile, India skipper Sandeep Singh said Baljit’s injury had affected the team as all the players were sad. On the team’s exposure trip to UK, coach Jose Brasa said, “Our aim is to learn and peak at the time of World Cup.”