IWHF springs to life and questions HI’s legitimacy

June 10th, 2010 - 8:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) The mess surrounding Indian hockey administration got murkier as Hockey India (HI) and Indian Women’s Hockey Federation (IWHF) questioned each other’s legitimacY. While IWHF president Vidya Stokes is now the head of HI, its secretary Amrit Bose is looking to revive and merge it with the resurrected Indian Hockey Federation (IHF).
Bose has called a Special Annual General Meeting (SAGM) of the IWHF Saturday, claiming strong support from the state units, including those who went with HI during the merger.

Bose told IANS Thursday that the meeting has been called at the behest of various state units.

“A number of units have confirmed their participation in the meeting, even state units affiliated to Hockey India. Some HI units are unhappy that they have not found a place in the state units after the merger. Questions were raised over the lopsided affiliation and merger process,” Bose said.

“IWHF is a legitimate unit and we are trying to revive it. We are looking to merge it with IHF which got its suspension lifted through a court order.” she said.

HI, which claims to be the sole representative of the sport in the country, shot back calling the meeting illegal.

Stokes said IWHF was disaffiliated by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) in 2000 and its members have already merged with HI.

“The meeting being called by few individuals of the defunct IWHF is illegal since it is not called by the president or has been called with her approval,” Stokes said.

“The IWHF was disaffiliated by FIH in 2000 as its constitution demanded merger of the men and women’s federations. In 2008 HI came into existence after IHF’s supersession,” Stokes said in a statement.

“In December 2008, I as president of IWHF gave consent to the IOA president for its merger with H.”

Stokes said Bose herself was part of the decision and at a meeting with the Sports Ministry in 2008 she conveyed IWHF’s decision to merge with HI.

“Smt (Amrit) Bose informed (the government) that the IWHF has already conveyed its written acceptance to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for the proposed merger,” Stokes said.

Stokes also said Bose was part of all HI board meetings in which merger of units were approved from Nov 2009-Jan 2010.

Bose admitted that she has been part of HI, but has been protesting over the manner in which the merger process was carried out.

“I have always raised my voice against the merger process and it is no secret. HI has failed to put up an elected body in place. Moreover many state IWHF units have complained about not getting representation in the state associations after the merger,” said Bose.

“How can HI decide on our legitimacy when they are not being recognised by the government,” Bose said pointing to the Sports Ministry’s submission in the court that it does not recognise HI.

Interestingly, the ministry has appointed an observer for the IWHF meeting as they had done in the case of the IHF Special General Assembly June 6.

Bose claimed that more than 20 units will take part in the meeting to decide future course of action.

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