HI, IHF talks suspended over contentious issues

July 15th, 2011 - 11:32 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 15 (IANS) The talks between the officials of Hockey India (HI) and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) were suspended Friday over three contentious issues which they feel “need further discussions to arrive a logical conclusion”.

HI secretary general Narinder Batra and IHF chief R.K. Shetty told IANS that the pause in their talks should not be seen as “breakdown” or insurmountable as the issues which needed deeper discussions are “technical in nature”.

There was progress between the two federations Thursday and they had agreed to form a new body with a new name while at the same time maintaining their independent existence for some time before winding up.

But IHF came up with some new demands Friday and those were not acceptable to HI. “I have not give up hope and I am still willing to take them on board if they agree to the terms that were decided upon,” Batra told IANS.

Shetty, too, said that he was open to working out the issues again.

“I still feel that it is not over. I am a positive person and I am ready to do anything for hockey. I have spoken to the minister (Ajay Maken) also. I appreciate the sincere efforts of the minister.

“We have to thrash out all the issues before formation of the new body. That is why new issues came up. It should not happen that today we come together, but some problem remains. We have to see that there are no hitches,” he said.

The biggest sticking point between the two bodies was the World Series Hockey (WSH) league promoted by IHF which HI is not willing to acknowledge.

The other issues were power sharing and over a new constitution. IHF secretary Ashok Mathur, who was present in Friday’s meeting at the sports ministry, said they wanted more power in the new body which HI disagreed.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH), after banning the WSH had toned down and said that the players who had already signed will not face any consequences, but IHF cannot sign new players after April 1 this year.

IHF wanted the new federation to take up the matter with FIH which HI refused.

“We have already entered into a contract with sponsors for the league. We cannot back out and when we are coming together we have to ensure its success. Tomorrow it will be a property of the new federation and it will benefit the sport,” Shetty said.

HI, which in partnership with FIH was planning their own league, maintained that they cannot acknowledge WSH.

IHF wanted Shetty to be made the chairman till a new president is elected. They wanted the post of general secretary to be swapped after two years, till the elections take place in 2014, which HI did not agree. IHF wanted Mathur to be made the secretary.

“They came up with this demand of swapping only today. We cannot progress if they keep coming with new demands everyday.” said Batra.

HI had agreed for Shetty to be made a vice-chairman or senior vice president in the new executive board. Besides, former IHF president K.P.S. Gill was given a life patron’s role.

IHF also wanted that there should be a new constitution to run the federation while HI wanted their own constitution to be adopted by the new body.

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