FIH recognises Hockey India, election deadline stays (Lead)

June 6th, 2009 - 11:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 6 (IANS) The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has formally recognised the newly-formed Hockey India (HI) and has asked the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to ensure HI is a representative body of all state units.
In the wake of severe criticism of the way HI was set-up by the IOA, HI officials called a hurried press conference Saturday to announce that it had got FIH approval.

For good measure, HI officials also said that elections to the new body would be held within three months.

FIH President Leandro Negre had set a six-month deadline for IOA to form a unified body, or risk losing the 2010 New Delhi World Cup.

HI President A.K Matto said FIH expected it to meet the election deadline.

“FIH has given official recognition to Hockey India (HI). The want the merger of men’s and women’s state units within six months. We are confident of doing that within the stipulated time,” Mattoo said.

The communication from the FIH to IOA president Suresh Kalmadi said: “We would like to congratulate you on the creation and formation of one single body to look after hockey for both men and women in India.

“This was mandatory for hosting and organising of the 12th FIH men’s hockey World Cup at New Delhi from March 7 to 20, 2010.

“Formality would require a letter to FIH from the IOA that the Hockey India has been recognised by the NOC (National Olympic Committee) but FIH waives this requirement on the clear understanding not only that the IOA recognises Hockey India as the sole governing body for Hockey, men and women, in India but that the membership of the IOA by the Indian Hockey Federation, Indian Women’s Hockey Federation and the Indian Hockey Confederation have all been terminated,” the communication said.

The world governing body, however, said HI must ensure free and fair elections within sixth months.

“The new state associations have to be formally accepted as members of Hockey India.”

HI secretary general Mohammad Aslam said they will ensure that the elections are conducted within the FIH deadline.

“We have massive support from various state associations and we are hopeful that the election will be conducted much before the six-month deadline of FIH,” Aslam said.

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