HI has to deal with WSH: FIH

Players will have to make a choice

“FIH do not recognise IHF. We will always work with Hockey India. There can be only one professional league in India and it has to be sanctioned by FIH,” said FIH president Leandro Negre.

“The professional league has to be properly timed. We have to spare a window in our international calendar so that top players of the world can participate. It can only begin after London 2012 and January-February is a good time to have it. We are studying various concepts to make it a truly professional and successful league that will be an annual event,” said Negre, who was here along with other FIH officials to discuss long-term development plans for India.

Several top Indian players have already signed up for the WSH that is slated for later this year. FIH chief executive Kelly Fairweather said players will have to choose between playing for the national team or a ‘local league’ like WSH since the calendar is packed this year.

“There are so many engagements for teams this season with Champions Trophy, Champions Challenge and then the Olympic qualifiers. There is the time to play in another league. Next year we have the London Olympics. The players would not like to jeoparidse their international careers. We have procedures laid down for FIH-sanctioned events. For any player participating in any other league it is for the national federations to decide. We do not want to stop the development of the game. The players also have to make the choice whether they want to play for the country or any local league,” he said.

FIH has intimated all national federations not to participate in an ‘unsanctioned’ event to prohibit participation of players.

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