Hockey India will run the game: Batra

The Delhi High Court on Friday set aside the government and Indian Olympic Association’s orders of de-recognising and disaffiliation of KPS Gill-led IHF in 2008 after its secretary K Jothikumaran was caught on camera in a sting operation accepting bribe to select a player.

Batra said HI will continue to govern the sport in the country as it enjoys the support of both the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF). “The High Court order does not affect us because both FIH and AHF recognise us and not IHF,” Batra said, ruling out a change in administration of the game.

“IHF is a society and any society is welcome to exist in India but at the end of the day to run a sport in the country you need the international federation’s recognition, which Hockey India has,” he said.

Batra claimed IHF ceased to exist in 2000 when the administration was taken over by Indian Hockey Confederation (IHC), a merged unit of men’s and women’s federations, as desired by FIH.

“I don’t know from where the question of recognising or de-recognising IHF came up because in 2000 it was replaced by IHC after FIH asked for the merger of men’s and women’s units in the country. Since then, Indian hockey has been represented by IHC and not IHF,” he said.

“I was also surprised that it took the government so long to realise the fact and de-recognise IHF. The government de-recognised the IHF only two years ago when it should have taken the step way back in 2000,” he added.
Sports Minister MS Gill said his ministry would study the verdict before deciding on the next course of action.

Reacting to the order, Gill said, “I have not received a copy of the order, just read it in the newspapers. But my answer is simple. Whatever the high court ordered, we have to accept that. My ministry will read it, think over it and then decide what to do.”
After disbanding IHF, IOA first set up an ad-hoc committee and then put in place Hockey India, merging men and women’s units, as directed by the international hockey federation (FIH).

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