FIH extends tacit support to IHF
It's an open secret that hockey's world governing body, FIH, which has got into a legal tangle with the Indian Hockey Federation for recognising the rival Hockey India before it was registered in the country, has realised its folly. It is keen to settle the issue and the FIH has told the IHF to go slow on it.
Both the FIH and IHF top brass met several times during the Olympics qualifier held in February. Since the case is pending, FIH doesn't want to annoy the IHF or disown HI. This is evident from the fact that FIH didn't take any action against the players who took part in the World Series Hockey organised by the IHF. The FIH also gave IHF officials tickets to watch the hockey matches at the Olympics.
Both the HI and the IHF are due to meet a three-member IOA panel in the capital on Thursday to give their views. The panel will then submit a detailed report to the IOA. However, an IHF official on Wednesday called it a futile exercise, pointing out that it was the IOA that suspended the IHF.
Following India's Olympics debacle, the HI plans to appoint a high performance manager, like major hockey powers do, to supervise the men's and women's teams. In theory it sounds fine, but it may not be practical. All major hockey powers have structured development plans that are periodically reviewed. They also have a good club culture. All this is missing in India.