Maken proposes co-option of IHF members

first_imgAfter repeated failures to break the deadlock arising from two federations running hockey, the sports ministry has taken matters into its own hand and proposed an ingenious plan to merge the two bodies.The ministry called representatives of both Hockey India (HI) and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) for a meeting on Saturday, and proposed that the executive board of the former be expanded to accommodate members of the rival body.Also, according to the proposal, former IHF president KPS Gill, under whose watch Indian hockey nosedived and failed to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in 2008, has been brought back into the picture as life patron, though in an honourary capacity without voting rights.It could be a face-saving arrangement for him after his organisation was unceremoniously suspended in 2008.”The strength of the executive board of HI shall be raised from 17 to 33 in order to provide for co-option of 16 members of IHF comprising one senior vice- president, six vice-presidents, four joint secretaries and five executive members,” the proposal underlined.”Shri KPS Gill shall be coopted as life patron in honourary capacity without voting rights.” As the new body will be called Hockey India, it will solve the problem of recognition by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the Indian Olympic Association.The meeting was attended by sports minister Ajay Maken, secretary (sports) Sindhushree Khullar and joint secretary (sports) Injeti Srinivas from the government’s side, while IHF was represented by president RK Shetty and secretary general Ashok Mathur.From Hockey India, secretary general Narinder Batra was accompanied by Mohammad Mushtaq Ahmad, Pratap Satpathy and Rajiv Mehta. The three-member Hockey India working committee will also be expanded to five to coopt two IHF members.advertisementThe ministry definitely seems to be in a hurry and has asked the two bodies to come up with their responses by Tuesday evening.”It would be better if the two bodies discuss the proposals between themselves and come up with a joint response,” Maken said after the meeting. “Even if they accept most of the points and have some recommendations regarding the others, it will be a positive development.” Maken also gave a warning of sorts to the two federations that they better look at the fresh proposals positively.”If they do not agree, we will look at other avenues, and report accordingly to the Supreme Court,” he said.The proposed dispensation may remain till October 2014, when Hockey India elections are due.After the Delhi High Court deemed IHF as the sole governing body for the sport in the country, Hockey India appealed to the apex court, which has suggested that the matter be resolved through dialogue.When any major tournament approaches, Hockey India is authorised to send the team as it is recognised by the FIH. The debacle at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia and the concerns about Olympic qualifications may have prompted the ministry to take up the latest initiative.However, what it will achieve is anybody’s guess. The dichotomy at the state level between the two federations was a major reason for the deadlock to continue.The joint committee comprising two elected and two coopted members of the executive board to arbitrate on disputes may further complicate matters.More significantly, the way the ministry is rushing through the matter gives an impression of arm- twisting.It is forcing a change in the Hockey India constitution to broker a deal between the two bodies. It remains to be seen how the two federations react to it.”We had to step in keeping in mind the larger interest of the game. We are giving equal power and responsibility to the two groups, and I am confident that the proposal will be accepted,” Maken said.”Two federations are not conducive for hockey and we are making every effort to revive the game.” According to plan, ex- IHF chief Gill to be made life patronlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *