NEW DELHI, Aug 17: Under the directive of the International Hockey Federation, the Indian Olympic Association has set up a three-member committee to decide on who should run the game in the country out of the two warring bodies — Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation.
The committee, which was formed by the IOA last month, will be headed by former Wrestling Federation of India President G S Mander along with Indian Weightlifting Federation chief Birendra Prasad Baishya and Handball Federation of India Secretary General S M Bali.
Mander told PTI that a hearing of views of both HI and IHF will be held on August 21 and and the Committee will submit its report by August 31.
“The committee has been tasked to determine which one of the two is the legitimate body to run hockey in the country and which would be recognised by the IOA and FIH. It has been constituted under the directive of the FIH that the matter should be decided before the end of August,” said Mander who is also the IOA Vice President.
Mander said HI and IHF have submitted their views in writing to the committee and both the bodies have been called for a hearing on August 21.
“Both HI and IHF have submitted their views and claims. We have asked them to submit their counter-claims also. They have done that. Now we have asked them to come for a personal hearing on August 21.
“A representative of IHF will come for hearing on the morning of August 21 and HI will be heard on the afternoon. We will study all their submissions, statutes of the FIH and IOA. After that we will submit our report to the IOA and FIH before the deadline of August 31,” he said.
HI and IHF have been locked in a bitter tussle on who should run the game in the country and even after several rounds of talks between the two bodies with intervention from the IOA and the sports ministry, the matter has not been resolved.
After IHF was disbanded in 2008 and HI took over the reins, the administration of hockey in the country has been in a mess. In 2010, the Delhi High Court invalidated the dissolution of the IHF, but later the Supreme Court had allowed HI to select the national teams since it is the body recognised by the FIH.
IOA acting president V K Malhotra said that it’s high time that the hockey mess was resolved to take the game forward after the debacle in London Olympics.
“We have constituted a three-member committee last month to look into the hockey mess and we are hoping that something concrete comes out of it,” Malhotra said on the sidelines of a felicitation function of the London Olympics medal winners organised by electronics major Samsung.
“It’s high time we resolved the issue and the national game moves forward,” he said. (PTI)