Stokes quits as HI president to ‘fulfill a commitment’

October 27th, 2010 - 8:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) Hockey India (HI) president Vidya Stokes, 83, resigned from her post Wednesday.

There is some confusion why Stokes, who defied government’s age guideline to become the HI president, has quit.

There is speculation that Stokes has resigned, falling in line with the government guidelines which has fixed 70 as age limit for the posts of president, secretary and treasurer of national sports federations.

HI stated that she has resigned as per her “commitment made to the sports minister (M.S.Gill) in February,” but Stokes insists that it is not the age or the government guidelines that forced her to quit, it is her individual decision.

Stokes, who is a leading apple grower in the country, said: “No, no, no.. that was not the issue at all for my resignation.”

“I still have the capacity to work harder than many others quite younger to me,” she quipped.

“It was my own decision. There was no pressure on me either from my party (the Congress) or from HI. I just want to focus on politics (in Himachal Pradesh),” Stokes told IANS.

“The hockey schedule is quite hectic and it is not possible for me to attend the Asian Games in China from Nov 12 to Nov 27 and then other events,” she said.

The FIH, too, is set to amend its constitution, fixing 70 as the age limit for its executive board members.

FIH president Leandro Negre, during his visit to India this month, had asked all national federations, including HI, to follow suit.

“Stokes has stepped down as per the commitment she made to the union sports minister at the inauguration of the synthetic turf at high altitude Shilaroo, Himachal Pradesh, in February. She had promised to step down after the Commonwealth Games,” HI said in a statement.

HI said secretary general Narinder Batra will hold the additional charge of Stokes’ duties till a new president is elected.

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