IOA President Criticises FIH for Taking Away Champions Trophy from India

New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS): Indian Olympic Association (IOA) acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra Tuesday told International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leonardo Negre that the world body was wrong to withdraw the Champions Trophy from India.

"I told FIH president Leonardo Negre that both IOA and FIH recognise only Hockey India as the official body for the game in the country. Then what was the need of moving the Champions Trophy out of India," said Malhotra.

The FIH has expressed its displeasure over the 'settlement' reached between HI and IHF with the help of the sports ministry and withdrew the Champions Trophy, which will be held from Dec 3-11, allotted to India.

The FIH also took everybody by surprise as they announced Auckland as the replacement for Delhi, four hours before the meeting with Indian officials.

Malhotra said: "When we both are on the same path, you (FIH) shouldn't have withdrawn the event. It was not right on their part to give the hosting rights to New Zealand. The reason given by FIH was totally wrong. I told them why are you engaging in talks with the government when the National Olympics Committee does not deal with the government directly as it has its own separate charter."

The IOA president said that both HI and IHF had to be blamed themselves for losing the hosting rights.

"FIH came to know about the merger between HI and IHF in July. During our meeting, Negre said given the complex nature of developments, FIH has decided to shift the Champions Trophy to New Zealand from India. The decision by FIH was taken purely on the basis of merger statement sent by the Sports Ministry in July to them," he said.

Malhotra said Negre was "non-committal" to his request to reconsider his decision.

"I have requested him (Negre) to reconsider the decision. He said it was impossible with only nine weeks left for organising the event. I said that nowadays communication has become very fast and if you can`t call the meeting of the executive board then by circulation of mails you can discuss the matter with them. I am convinced that Olympics qualifiers will remain in India," he said.


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Title: IOA President Criticises FIH for Taking Away Champions Trophy from India

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