Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011
ePaper | Mobile/PDA Version
Google



Sport

News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary |

Sport Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Pray for a miracle?

S. Thyagarajan

Chennai: The initiative by the Sports Minister, Ajay Maken, to integrate the hockey factions seeking control of the administration has fallen flat.

There were indications of a lasting solution emerging a few weeks ago when the IHF sought time to formulate its response to the merger proposal. But that proved erroneous.

Admittedly, the issue of merger is not as simplistic as made out to be. More than anyone, the Sports Ministry was seized of the rigid positions taken by Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation.

But the Sports Minister was keen that a satisfactory arrangement is mandatory in the interest of the sport that is fast losing its identity and image.

There is no signal as yet from the Ministry about the next step. Predictably, the responses are under scrutiny. Everyone, it seems, is chasing a crooked shadow.

The righteous indignation by IHF over the manner in which it was shooed out of the IOA in 2008 is not misplaced. The ejection, after the pre-Olympic tournament at Santiago following the failure to make it to the Olympics, was a horrendous misjudgement, consciously crafted in haste to settle scores.

Proving tragic

Whatever the motives that compelled this step have proved tragic for those who had engineered it.

The creation of Hockey India and the subsequent disbandment of the State units, that almost decimated hockey's history and tradition, have contributed to a mood of cynicism. This is clearly reflecting in the poor performance of the national team.

Now that the well intentioned move of the Sports Ministry is bombed, the alternatives are only a few. One is to inform the Apex Court of Ministry's inability to find a solution to the seemingly intractable problem. The final verdict may be left to the Supreme Court.

The Sports Ministry is within its rights to direct the IHF to produce the stamp of recognition from IOA and FIH within a time frame. If it fails, the Ministry can withdraw the recognition and transfer it to HI as it has agreed to conform to the guidelines.

In fact, the cause that led to withdrawal of recognition was over the age factor of the President, Ms. Vidya Stokes, ceases to exist now.

It may be argued that the IHF will be left without a case once HI gets the approval of the Ministry. But that will be an extreme step, and effectively nullifies the efforts of the Sports Minister to form a unified federation.

Clearly, both factions cannot escape the flaws perceived in their functioning and the norms of governance.

That competitive hockey should be entangled in this unprecedented imbroglio with less than a year to go before the qualifier and Champions Trophy in New Delhi is saddening indeed. The signs of more acrimony surfacing are not ruled out either.

Apart from putting a spoke in the wheel of the Sports Ministry's efforts towards reconciliation, the head-less IOA has contributed precious little to the merger issue. Perhaps, it does want to be part of it.

A meeting point among the factions now is like a mirage. Should the fans pray for a miracle?

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



Sport

News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |

Sportstar Subscribe


News Update



The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | The Hindu ePaper | Business Line | Business Line ePaper | Sportstar | Frontline | Publications | eBooks | Images | Ergo | Home |

Copyright 2011, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu