Sports Ministry Recognises Gill-led Indian Hockey Federation

New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS): The sports ministry Friday recognised the K.P.S Gill-led Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) as the sole governing body of the sport and asked the world body to follow suit.

The sports ministry's decision came a day after it withdrew the provisional recognition of Hockey India (HI) for not following its guidelines in Thursday's election.

The ministry dashed off a letter to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre, intimating him of the development.

"Government has derecognised Hockey India by a speaking order on August 5, 2010, a copy of which has been endorsed to you. As such, HI is no more the recognised National Sport Federation (NSF) for management, control and promotion of hockey in the country, and is also not authorised to select and field the national team in international competitions.

"In view of this development, the IHF stands recognised by the government as the sole NSF in India in the light of the judgement dated 21.05.2010 of the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi in a writ petition, which has also been accepted by Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as well as the HI before the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi..." the ministry letter said.

"You are requested not to assign any international tournament or have any commercial dealings with HI under the impression that they are the NSF for hockey in India because they no longer enjoy government recognition and have assumed the character of a private body," it added.

The sports ministry said till the time IHF completes the formalities of merging with Indian Women's Hockey Federation (IWHF), the Indian Olympic Association or the Sports Authority of India be allowed to field the Indian team for international events.

Gill welcomed government's decision, saying it was a positive step.

"I welcome the government's decision. It is a positive step for rebuilding the hockey structure and the team. There is no lack of sponsors. We will rope in sponsors for the promotion of the sport," Gill said.

IHF, which was derecognised by FIH in 2000 as per its guideline of one federation from one country, was disaffiliated by the IOA in April 2008 and Gill was sacked following a cash-for-selection scam.

The Delhi High Court last month lifted the suspension and asked IOA and the ministry to recognise IHF as the sole authority for running the sport in the country.

Meanwhile, HI, the ad hoc body which took over the reins of the sport after IHF, completed the election process Thursday. But hours after Vidya Stokes and Narinder Batra were elected its president and secretary general, the ministry derecognised HI following its refusal to adopt the government guidelines, particularly the key clauses on age-limit and tenure restriction, and HI's submission in court that it is a private body.

On the withdrawal of recognition, Batra said: "We have always maintained that we are an autonomous and independent body under the registration of societies act and HI is not a creation under the statute or any act of government. It is the sports ministry which kept on changing its stance in the court with regard to our status.

Batra also alleged that the sports ministry had put a lot of pressure on HI to make Pargat Singh president and saw the defeat of former India captain at the hands of Stokes as the reasons for the ministry's decision.

"There was a lot of pressure on HI to make Pargat the president. I can't understand why should the ministry have interest in any candidate,"Batra told IANS.

"Moreover, how did the ministry come to know the result when officially we did not announce it as the Supreme Court had asked us not to declare the result till it disposed off the court cases before it. I would like to ask the sports minister how did the ministry have the result, did they get it from Pargat?

"The matter is sub-judice and the next hearing in Supreme Court is August 19 when all issues will be taken up. What was the hurry in sending us a letter after 10 in the night informing that HI has been derecognised?" Batra said.


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Title: Sports Ministry Recognises Gill-led Indian Hockey Federation

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