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FIH, CoA issue joint statement, say Hockey India election process to be completed by October 9

New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) Hockey India’s election process will be completed by October 9, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) said in a joint statement on Wednesday after a meeting here.

During the meeting, the COA managed HI submitted the first draft of its modified constitution to the IHF and the final draft will be delivered within the next 10 days.

“The first draft of the modified constitution of Hockey India, as directed by the honorable Delhi High Court, has been submitted today to FIH and the CoA, Hockey India will have a final draft delivered within the next ten days. Additionally, the process of elections for Hockey India was mutually decided to be completed by October 9th, 2022,” the joint statement read.

A two-member delegation from the FIH is in the national capital to discuss the current situation of Hockey India, following the resignation of Narinder Batra from his post.

Last month, former Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chief Batra had resigned from the post of International Hockey Federation (FIH) president, thus relinquishing all three top posts — IOA chief, International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and FIH head — he was holding.

Hockey India is currently under the rule of a Committee of Administrators (COA) on the orders of the Delhi High Court because of an alleged violation of the National Sports Code.

Wednesday’s meeting was attended by FIH’s acting president Seif Ahmed, CEO Thierry Weil and the members of the CoA — Justice Anil R Dave, former Judge of the Supreme Court, S Y Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner of India, and Zafar Iqbal, a former Olympian.

Speaking in the context of the Delhi HC order with respect HI, FIH’s acting president said that FIH “does not consider the court as third party”.

“We don’t consider the court as a third party and respect the judiciary. We believe that the order of a court is not an interference,” Ahmed said.

Dave said, “The interaction was extremely positive and encouraging. We have been able to conclude and agree on some important next steps to ensure the continued smooth functioning of Hockey in India keeping in mind the foremost importance of the spirit of the sport and the best interest of our athletes.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the visiting FIH delegation also met Sports Secretary Sujata Chaturvedi.

“This was a positive meeting and the conversation with her is in alignment with the outcomes from today’s discussions with the CoA, Hockey India,” the statement read.

Vineel Krishna, the Odisha government’s commissioner-cum-secretary in the state’s sports and youth services department, also met with the visiting FIH delegation and made a presentation on the upcoming World Cup.

“The development of infrastructure for the prestigious tournament was appreciated by all and it was agreed upon to conduct a site visit to Rourkela on September 7th, 2022 by the members of FIH and the CoA, Hockey India. This visit will be followed by the official draw for the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 to be announced from Bhubaneswar on September 8th,2022,” the statement further read.

The development comes after the FIH last month had said that it is not satisfied by the reply of CoA governing Hockey India, to their previous letter and “cannot accept the turnaround time of 20 weeks” for adopting a new Constitution.

This was after FIH’s warning to conduct HI elections as soon as possible to avoid jeopardizing the Men’s World Cup to be held in Odisha in January 2023.

However, after today’s meeting, the CoA and FIH expressed their collective appreciation towards the Odisha government, saying that they “look forward to an exceptional global event taking place on January 13-29th 2023 in Bhubaneswar & Rourkela”.

–IANS

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