Just a week before the proposed meeting to sort out the crisis in hockey administration, Hockey India (HI) on Friday alleged that the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) was trying to “sabotage” India's preparation for the Olympic qualifiers.
The recent announcement by the IHF-backed World Series Hockey (WSH) that the top 50 Indian players had been paid in advance to play in the WSH seemed to have triggered the latest row.
HI, in a statement, reiterated that WSH (proposed to be held in mid-December) was not sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and “has serious implications for both players and officials who participate in this.”
“Now IHF is hell bent to sabotage India's qualification chances for the London Olympics...the dates for WSH in December 2011-January 2012 have been deliberately kept so that it clashes with the National coaching camps which will be in progress at this time in preparation for the Olympic qualifiers. This is nothing but a blatant anti-National campaign by IHF to ensure the slow poisoning of Indian hockey,” the release said.
The discord between the two factions, who had struck a ‘settlement,' has re-emerged following FIH's rejection of the deal between the two bodies and withdrawal of the hosting rights of the Champions Trophy from India.
The FIH has also warned that India's chances of participating in the Olympic qualifiers may be hampered if matters were not sorted out in Indian hockey.
HI said it would conduct the international men hockey league, an event sanctioned by FIH, from 2013. Teams featuring top players from across the world will be part of the event. “FIH has been requested for a 45-day window in their calendar for this event…The teams will be owned by franchisees and matches will be played on a home-and-away basis as in IPL cricket. This league will be held annually,” the statement added.