The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) on Thursday objected to the composition of the three-member Indian Olympic Association (IOA) committee, which was formed to sort out issues between Hockey India (HI) and IHF.

IHF said the committee, headed by IOA vice-president G.S. Mander, should ideally consist of independent persons.

“These members are from the IOA, which had disbanded IHF. There should be independent members, such as a retired judge of the Supreme Court or an eminent sportsperson, who are free from the influence of all,” said IHF chief advisor K.P.S. Gill at a press conference here.

The panel was to meet the representatives of the two bodies on Thursday, but the IHF sent a letter to the IOA expressing its disapproval.

“The Delhi High Court has already decided on the issue (in our favour). The IOA committee is not above the High Court,” said Gill.

However, Gill said the IHF was ready to talk to HI, which had the backing of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), in order to resolve the dispute.

Lamenting India’s 12th place finish in the London Olympics, the IHF top brass, along with a few well-known players, like M.P. Ganesh, Dhanraj Pillay, Joaquim Carvalho, Romeo James, M.P. Singh, Harendra Singh and Rajpal Singh, held HI responsible for the debacle.

Questions selection

They questioned the selection of the players. “It was not the Indian hockey team (which played in London). At least seven-eight players who played the World Series Hockey (WSH) were not selected. That affected the team’s performance in the Olympics,” said Pillay, adding HI secretary-general Narinder Batra should have resigned after the debacle.

Gill said the IHF had given a list of 21 players who had done well in the WSH, but they were not considered while selecting the National team for the Olympics.

Ganesh cast doubts over the credentials of Chief coach Michael Nobbs, while Rajpal queried the inaction against Nobbs after the Indian side finished last in London.

IHF president R.K. Shetty questioned FIH’s interference in the affairs of Indian hockey. “Why did the FIH not object to the Pakistan players who played in the WSH and went on to participate in the Olympics? Why is it only against India?

“The problem between IHF and HI is an internal issue in Indian hockey. Why is the FIH trying to get into it?” Shetty asked.

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