Indian hockey gets a breather with joint board (Lead)

July 25th, 2011 - 11:17 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) Hockey India (HI) and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) have finally arrived at an “arrangement” to from a joint executive board.

At a meeting with the sports ministry officials Monday, both federations thrashed out their differences.

The two federations will, however, continue to work independently at the domestic level.

A joint executive board and working committee will be formed that will have equal representation from both federations.

The eight-member working committee will have three members each from the IHF and HI and the two presidents as co-chairman.

The joint panel will will look into selection of the national team, its preparation, participation of national teams in international tournaments, and holding national camps. The annual national championship will also be held jointly.

However, there is still a long way before the two federations can merge.

“The above settlement shall not in any manner interfere with the separate legal existence and contractual commitments and statutory liabilities of either party,” according to the minutes of the meeting between HI and IHF held Monday.

“The above settlement should not be treated as merger or amalgamation of HI and IHF which shall continue to retain their seperate legal entitites,” it said.

IHF president R.K. Shetty said it is an “arrangement” they have reached.

“It was important for the two federations to come together for the sake of hockey. There was a lot of confusion in the hockey fraternity, the players etc., with the two federations working independently,” said Shetty.

HI secretary general Narinder Batra said it was a good settlement the two parties have reached.

“You can’t get everything you want but both parties made adjustments and this is a good settlement. It will help us develop trust and confidence and to find a comfort level by working together.”

“Qualification for 2012 Olympics is the big goal in front of us now.”

The arrangement has been made till 2012 end after that it will be re-looked.

In due course of time, the joint working committee will initiate process for the change of name of Hockey India.

Last week, the talks were put on hold after both federations could not resolve some technical issues, including the World Series Hockey (WSH), organised by the IHF.

The IHF-organised WSH was a bone of contention as it is not sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (IHF), which was planning to hold another league with HI as partner.

Both IHF and HI will go ahead with their leagues now.

Sports minister Ajay Maken, in a message from New York, where he is heading a delegation to the United Nations, expressed hope that this step would end the “uncertainty for players and participation of our teams in international tournaments and would eventually lead to the welfare of hockey.”

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