The long-standing dispute over the administration of hockey in the country appears to be coming to an end with the Sports Ministry finally recognising Hockey India (HI) as the game’s sole governing body.
In a letter dated February 28, the ministry has stated that “Hockey India is made responsible and accountable for the overall management, direction, control, regulation, promotion and development of hockey (men and women).”
The decision, the letter states, was taken after going through all the documents submitted by both HI and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), which was suspended and derecognised in 2008. The associations have been engaged in a legal battle since then.
The letter says the government had sought evidence from both factions on June 16, 2011 to prove their compliance with requirements for recognition — a unified body for men and women, recognition from the international body (FIH), recognition from IOA, free and fair elections and acceptance of the government guidelines, along with an application form for recognition — and that only HI has fulfilled all conditions.
Interestingly, both HI and IHF have remained derecognised since August 2010 even though the ministry has continued footing their bills for training camps and international participation.