Without elected panel, India risks losing hockey World Cup

April 9th, 2009 - 8:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) India face the risk of losing the 2010 hockey World Cup, if it fails to form an elected committee within six months.
International Hockey Federation (FIH) chief Leandro Negre Thursday said the event would be shifted to Malaysia, if India could not to meet the guidelines of forming Hockey India before the event in Delhi.

The World Cup is scheduled to be hosted in Delhi March 7-20, as a precursor to the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Negre, who concluded his three day visit here Thursday, told reporters that IOC has assured them of a new set-up soon.

“We need to have a unique body (Hockey India) in place to run the sport. It needs to be formed before the World Cup. It is essential to India hosting the event,” Negre said.

“We want to host the event here in Delhi. But FIH is a responsible body and does a lot of pre-planning. We have a plan B in place if India fails to meet the guidelines.”

“Malaysia is ready and capable of hosting the event. But I am sure that it will not come to such a point. The Indian authorities have assured us that the matter will be settled within six months.”

“We have not come here to be involved in the internal matters of Indian hockey. We are here to know the situation. It is upto them to follow,” said the former Spanish Olympian goal-keeper.

The sport in the country is currently run by an ad-hoc committee of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) which superseded the K.P.S Gill led Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) last year in April. The IHF has moved the Delhi High Court against IOA’s move to delegitimise it.

IOC’s plans of a new body, Hockey India, in which both the men’s and women’s association will be amalgamated, is still to take a concrete shape.

IOC general secretary Randhir Singh is confident of meeting FIH’s deadline.

“We are following a roadmap for Indian hockey. We are taking FIH’s suggestion and are hopeful of forming Hockey India in six months,” Singh said.

Asked if FIH had any security fears, Negre said: “No member country has raised any doubts regarding the security. But it is an important part before hosting an event of the magnitude of World Cup as terrorist strike can happen anywhere in the world. I met Indian officials and they have assured us about the security.”

He also said FIH expects India to raise their performance and match the world standard.

“India have not been performing well for some time now and we are concerned. India is organising the World Cup. We need good performance from the team. We have started a project to revive Indian hockey. India is a very important country for us to popularise and market the sport.”

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