FIH clears Mander’s name as returning officer for HI polls

January 20th, 2010 - 5:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) International Hockey Federation (FIH) vice president Antonio Von Ondarza has cleared the name of G.S. Mander as returning officer for the Hockey India polls after questions were raised about his credentials by government-appointed observer S.K. Mendiratta.
Ondarza, who is also the FIH observer for the HI elections, said the name of Mander, the president of the Wrestling Federation of India, was agreed upon at a meeting which was attended by Mendiratta.

“S.K. Mendiratta was present when Mander accepted his appointment. I have spoken to Mr. Mander as well as the Union home secretary and found him as an excellent candidate to be the returning officer for the upcoming Hockey India elections.

“This was also the view of the members of executive board of Hockey India including the new president, IOA and the FIH,” Ondarza wrote in a communication to sports ministry and HI Wednesday.

Mendiratta had raised objections about Mander’s choice as returning officer, saying that it violates the ministry’s guidelines that nobody in HI or IOA should have any role to play in the polls. The sports ministry wanted a retired judge to be nominated as returning officer.

Ondarza said he had mentioned in a meeting with the joint secretary of the sports ministry, Injeti Srinivas that FIH preferred a neutral candidate to come from another federation with experience in sport affairs.

“The FIH is totally convinced of the capacity of the returning officer (Mander) who will receive the nominations, and monitor the elections to be held by secret ballot which, therefore, are going to be fair and transparent.”

Ondarza also said the process for the Feb 7 elections has started and the documents as well as the procedure of receiving nominations with corresponding deadlines have been sent to all affiliated states.

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