IOA decision to recognise HI as official body "suspended": FIH

IOA decision to recognise HI as official body "suspended": FIH

International Hockey Federation (FIH) today said that the decision of IOA's Special Committee that Hockey India will be the sole body to run the game in the country will be "suspended" till the disposal of the case pending at the Delhi High Court.

Indian Olympic Association had accepted a decision by its special committee that HI should be the official body in the country but the High Court, on a petition by Indian Hockey Federation, had ordered to maintain status quo till the case is finally disposed off.

The IHF had apprised the FIH about the decision and the world body today acknowledged that the IOA's decision to recognise HI as the hockey body in the country will be "suspended" for the time being.

"You will be aware that counsel appeared for the FIH at last week's hearing before the Delhi High Court, and based on his submissions the Court noted for the record that the FIH disputes that the Delhi High Court can properly exercise jurisdiction over the FIH in this matter," FIH Chief Executive Kelly Fairweather wrote to IHF Secretary General Ashok Mathur in response to a missive earlier sent by the latter.

"Nevertheless, while maintaining and insisting upon that jurisdictional objection, the FIH acknowledges your position that the effect of the Court's order dated 25 September 2012 is that the IOA Special Committee's decision of 5 September 2012 is suspended pending trial of the IHF's petition challenging that decision, and that therefore no reliance can be placed on that decision in the meantime," the letter said.

The FIH official, however, made it clear that HI remained India's hockey body recognised by it. "I simply note that, as set out in my 1 June 2012 letter, the effect of this is that we are exactly where we were when I wrote that letter, i.e., Hockey India is and remains the FIH's member for India," it said.

The letter further said that the world body's direction to the two warring bodies -- HI and IHF -- to make submissions on whether they meet the criteria for FIH membership will have to wait.

"FIH further acknowledges that, as a result, the process proposed in my letter of 1 June 2012 -- for the IHF and HI to make submissions on whether they meet the criteria for FIH membership, for consideration by the FIH Congress in Kuala Lumpur next month – cannot take place while that order remains in place (because presenting those submissions would necessarily include invoking the IOA Special Committee's decision)," the FIH letter said.

The FIH also said that today's acknowledgement should not be construed as accepting IHF's representation to the world body against the decision of the IOA. "In light of the above, it is not necessary to deal with the assertions in your letter regarding the merits of the IOA Special Committee's decision, but that should not be taken as acceptance of those assertions. All of the FIH's rights are reserved in full," the FIH said.

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