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FIH welcomes formation of Hockey India

Sports Reporter

NEW DELHI: Hockey India has been given a boost by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), which has welcomed its formation and congratulated the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President for its creation.

In a letter dated June 4 and addressed to the IOA President, Suresh Kalmadi, copies of which were distributed during a press conference address by the Hockey India President, A.K. Mattoo, on Saturday, the FIH Secretary-General, Peter Cohen has expressed the hope that the problems faced by Indian hockey would become a closed chapter.

“We are happy that you have adhered to the FIH guidelines dated May 5, 2009 on the formation of Hockey India. We trust you will be forming single State hockey bodies for both men and women as well as for the smooth running of hockey in the States.

“The new State associations have to be formally accepted as members of Hockey India. Immediately (after) we receive your confirmation that this has happened, FIH will formally recognise Hockey India as the sole governing body for hockey, men and women, in India. When this is completed, Hockey India will be entitled to participate in all FIH events and activities, especially 2010 men’s World Cup,” said the letter.

“Formality would normally require a letter to the FIH from the IOA that Hockey India has been recognised by the NOC but the FIH waives this requirement on the clear understanding not only that the IOA recognises Hockey India as the sole governing body for hockey, men and women, in India but that the membership of the IOA by the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), the Indian Women’s Hockey Federation (IWHF) and the Indian Hockey Confederation (IHC) have all been terminated,” the letter further said.

Mattoo said now the main task before the national body would be “to have similar bodies created at the State-level.”

The Secretary-General of Hockey India, Mohammad Aslam Khan, said the new body did not have any powers to dissolve the old hockey State associations. “We are not dissolving them, even we cannot dissolve them as they are not affiliated to us. They can carry on, we are not touching them,” he said.

Khan welcomed the men and women State associations who want to join Hockey India. “Our doors are open for them. But it has to be a single body for men and women,” he said.

Mattoo claimed that they were receiving “overwhelming response” from State bodies.

Asked if the State bodies having links with former IHF chief K.P.S. Gill and Bengal Hockey Association President J.B. Roy, who have joined hands against Hockey India, would be considered for affiliation, Khan said it would become a disciplinary matter.

Mattoo said the selection committee that worked with the ad hoc committee would stay and a new selection panel for women would be formed.

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