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India stick-checked

The international hockey federation (FIH) on Tuesday stripped India of the hosting rights of the Champions Trophy, scheduled to be held at New Delhi from December 3-11, citing the unstable governance structure as reason. HT reports.

india Updated: Sep 07, 2011 01:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

The international hockey federation (FIH) on Tuesday stripped India of the hosting rights of the Champions Trophy, scheduled to be held at New Delhi from December 3-11, citing the unstable governance structure as reason.

The FIH decision puts in jeopardy the Olympic qualifiers in February 2012 at the same venue. The FIH said it would continue to monitor the governance structure and hoped that a resolution can be found before it begins to affect future events.https://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/07_09_pg21b.jpg

India had failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics and their path to London 2012 will get difficult if the FIH goes on to withdraw the qualifiers too.

The sports ministry had brought the two warring federations — Hockey India and its predecessor Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) on board and forced them into a “working agreement” under which matters like team selection for international tournaments was left to an eight-member joint executive committee comprising four members from each body.

Past imperfect

Both HI, the body affiliated to FIH, and IHF, which enjoys government patronage, were allowed to exist independently and conduct their own business. HI was formed in May 2009 after the IOA suspended the IHF for alleged mismanagement. The IOA’s decision was termed illegal by the Delhi HC.https://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/07_09_pg21a.jpg

“We regret that we have to move the Champions Trophy from India,” said FIH president Leandro Negre. “It is difficult for the teams, organisers and fans. But we feel that this is the only way to maintain the integrity of our sport.”

Sports minister, Ajay Maken, expressed surprise at the decision and said he would be meeting Negre on Sep 13 and explaining the ministry's position.

Shock & dismay
Hockey India secretary general, Narinder Batra, expressed shock.

“If their decision is based on the power-sharing formula between HI and IHF, then it's really not appropriate. The agreement has not been implemented yet,” Batra said.

IHF secretary, AK Mathur, called it “blackmail”. “The FIH has always interfered in India's matters but this time they have crossed the limit. If governance was the issue then why was India allowed to host the World Cup? The situation was the same at that time also.”

While Maken said the government hoped to convince Negre during the meeting on September 13, the FIH remained non-committal on Negre's visit to India.

First Published: Sep 06, 2011 16:28 IST