The International Hockey Federation (FIH) stated on Tuesday that it still has “complete faith” in Hockey India, but that it expects its member associations to follow their respective countries’ sports codes.
Following its finding that the federation had violated the National Sports Code, the Delhi High Court placed HI under the supervision of a three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) last month.
FIH issues statement over Narinder Batra controversy
The court decision came in response to a case filed by former India player Aslam Sher Khan, who questioned IOA President Narinder Batra’s selection as a life member of HI.
“It’s 100% clear that every National Association (NA) has to make sure that its Statutes are compliant with the sports code of the local authorities. Therefore, if this is not the case for Hockey India at the moment, then this has to happen,” said FIH’s chief executive officer Thierry Weil.
“However, this situation does not affect FIH’s full trust in Hockey India.” The FIH CEO said HI will continue to play a pivotal role in the development of the game.
“Indeed, Hockey India has been and continues to be a key actor of the development of our sport, not only in the country, but also for the world, as an outstanding organiser of numerous FIH events,” Weil said.
The Delhi High Court ruled that Batra’s nomination as HI’s life member and Elena Norman’s appointment as CEO were invalid, and that the national body’s administrative setup was erroneous or illegal.
Former Supreme Court judge AR Dave chairs the committee, which also includes former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi and ex-Indian hockey team captain Zafar Iqbal.
The committee has been tasked with making the necessary arrangements for HI’s governance until new elections are held.
Weil, speaking on the inaugural Hockey 5s tournament staged here last weekend, said the FIH is supportive of its growth alongside the traditional format, and that the first Hockey 5s World Cup will be place in 2024.
“Hockey5s is a great lever to boost the growth of hockey at the global level. Thanks to its less restrictive infrastructure – smaller field – but also to the required number of players, the practice of Hockey5s can be a real development asset for many nations in the world,” he said.
The Indian men’s hockey team won the inaugural FIH Hockey 5s, while Uruguay won the crown in the women’s section.
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