Players must obtain NOC for HIL: Nimbus

Players who have signed three-year contracts with World Series Hockey, a joint initiative of Indian Hockey Federation and Nimbus Sport, should acquire NOCs from their respective city-based franchises to play in the proposed Hockey India League, a top Nimbus official said on Wednesday.

“Around 14-15 players of the Indian team that played in the Olympics have signed three-year contracts with our franchises. They will have to apply and get No Objection Certificates from their respective franchises in order to play in another league,” Nimbus Sport’s Chief Operating Officer Colaco told PTI.

Colaco was reacting to a statement from IHF’s rival body Hockey India that it has signed up 90 players of the country for its proposed league which is set to clash with Season 2 of World Series Hockey scheduled from December 15 to January 20.

According to HI’s secretary-general Narinder Batra, all 16 players who represented the country that finished 12th and last in the London Olympics, would be part of the Hockey India League’s players’ auction.

But Colaco’s statement that nearly all of them have also signed up with rival league WSH seems to queer the pitch.

WSH involved eight city-based franchise outfits in the inaugural year and was won by Sher-E-Punjab, who defeated Pune Strykers 5-2 in the final held on April 2 here. The other outfits were: Chandigarh Comets, Mumbai Marines, Chennai Cheetahs, Karnataka Lions, Delhi Wizards and Bhopal Badshahs.

Colaco pointed out that, last year, WSH’s original dates were in December-January but they were shifted to March-April to accommodate players to take part in the Olympic Qualifiers in Delhi.

“The shift of dates was done because of the Olympic qualifiers. This year we have retained the original dates.”

Meanwhile, IHF president RK Shetty, while not foreseeing any problem in conducting this year’s WSH, slammed Batra and the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for India’s poor show at the Olympic Games.

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