Finally, an agreement
Hockey India (HI) and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) were supposed to form a unified body, but on Monday, the two warring factions came up with a new entity to govern hockey in the country.
Under intense pressure from the sports ministry to work together, HI and IHF agreed, after a marathon session, to constitute an eight-member executive board - four members from each group, to oversee the day-to-day running of the sport. The two groups will maintain their identities till December 2012.
IHF president, RK Shetty, and HI secretary general, Narinder Batra, were the official signatories to the agreement."It's a good working relationship as both bodies have contractual obligations which can't be terminated or taken up by the unified body. So, this is the right way forward till the legal issues are sorted out," Shetty told HT.
Pact on four areas
The factions have agreed to focus on four areas - organising national championships, preparation of squads, selection of teams and participation of the national squad in international tournaments.
Under the arrangement, there will be a joint executive committee of 39 members, with 20 members being drawn from HI.
The working committee will also have a chairman and co-chairman, from the HI and IHF. The two officials will have equal powers.
With HI and IHF reaching an understanding, the decks have been cleared for the conduct of the World Series Hockey (WSH), which looked in jeopardy.
Also, HI will not take action against the players who attended the WSH meeting in Mumbai recently after skipping the training session at the national camp in Bangalore.
Reprieve for players
This means that the players, Arjun Halappa, Adrian D'Souza, Sardara Singh, Sandeep Singh and Prabhjot Singh, will not be punished for skipping the camp.
However, international tournaments allotted to India (by the FIH) will continue to be conducted by HI.
"The agreement is based only on four points," said Batra. "It's a positive step for the development of hockey in the country. In future, we might be able to resolve other issues including the pending court case," he added.
When contacted, a FIH official said it was aware of the problem being resolved but hadn't got the details yet.