The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) on Sunday tried to make the most of the situation of Hockey India's weakened position following the Union Sports Ministry's stance of not dealing with it.

At the same time, it questioned the ministry's decision to derecognise the IHF earlier this month.

The IHF is a disaffiliated unit of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

“In March, the Government said it had not derecognised the IHF. In April, it said it had derecognised IHF,” IHF President K.P.S. Gill told a press conference on Sunday following the annual general meeting of the body here. He said the government did not have enough grounds to derecognise the IHF.

Gill claimed that 17 member units were present at the meeting — including Tamil Nadu, Mumbai, Goa and Karnataka — and 11 had conveyed their support.

Gill mainly trained his guns on the Suresh Kalmadi-led IOA that had first suspended the IHF and then disaffiliated it to create Hockey India (HI).

A surprise

The IHF had seemingly joined hands with the IOA earlier and Gill's stance on Sunday came as a surprise. He had said last June that all members of the IHF who had contributed to hockey for so many years should continue in the new body.

Gill cited an affidavit filed by the Sports Ministry in the Delhi High Court to claim that HI did not exist.

He also contested the transfer of membership from Indian Hockey Confederation (IHC), a unified body of IHF and the Indian Women's Hockey Federation (IWHF) formed in 2001, to HI. “When the body does not exist, it cannot ratify its statutes,” he said.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) President Leandro Negre had said during the World Cup that HI would be suspended if elections were not held before May 31.

Sources close to Gill said there could still be a way out if HI came forward with a “positive attitude”.

IOA slammed

Gill slammed the IOA over hockey affairs. “The IOA's stand changes from month to month. It is a disgrace for an organisation which represents the Olympic Movement in India,” he said.

Gill raised doubts over the expenses incurred for the conduct of the recent World Cup here. “We had conducted Asia Cup in Chennai in 2007 and the total cost was Rs. 87 lakh. With the same number of teams and same number of officials, the World Cup cost Rs. 15 crore. I have asked for details through the Right to Information (RTI) Act but I have grave doubts whether the details will be supplied,” he said.

Gill said the original contract to hold the World Cup was signed between the IHF and the FIH. “It was terminated without any reason and IOA signed the contract. It was a breach of trust and criminal misappropriation,” he said.

The IHF President alleged that a marketing firm was getting 15 per cent “sweat charges” for receiving funds from different government organisations for the Commonwealth Games. All the money for Commonwealth Games is coming from public sector. These are amazing figures for a poor country like us,” Gill said.

The IHF said it would hold the National championship in June and July and it would start with zonal meets through which two teams from each zone would qualify. The final would be played in Delhi.

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