India’s hosting and participating rights in next month’s World Cup will not be affected despite the indefinite postponement of Hockey India (HI) elections, the International Hockey Federation said on Monday.

The FIH lamented the further delay in the much-awaited Hockey India elections, which has been pushed back thrice but assured it would have no bearing on India’s chance both as host and as participant in the mega event.

“The FIH regrets that there is another delay in the election process for Hockey India. The Hero Honda FIH World Cup will take place in New Delhi, India from 28 February-13 March 2010 with the twelve participants as qualified,” FIH communications manager Arjen Meijer said.

While granting the World Cup, the FIH had made it clear that a democratically elected Hockey India with both the men’s and women’s wing under one roof must be in place before the mega event or else it would be shifted out of the country.

However, the FIH later softened its stand and said that the World Cup would be held in India but the hosts would be restricted from participating in it if an elected federation was not put in place on time.

Incidentally, the Hockey India election has been postponed thrice, the latest from its February 7 date after the Rajasthan High Court had put a stay order on its entire electoral college.

The election of HI was first scheduled for November 18 last year but was later pushed back to January 29 after the Sports Ministry had asked it to be deferred as some State units have raised doubts over the process of affiliation.

But the polls have to be deferred again from its January 29 schedule after the HI failed to give a 21-day mandatory notice to all the stakeholders of the election process.

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