Sports Ministry asks FIH to recognise IHF, not HI

The Union Sports Ministry on Monday reiterated its appeal to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to recognise Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) as the National Sports Federation (NSF) for hockey in India.

The Ministry's plea came following FIH's continued support to Hockey India as the “sole and only body compliant with FIH statutes.”

In his letter to the FIH, Sports Ministry Joint Secretary Injeti Srinivas said the government had written to FIH on August 6 that it had “withdrawn its provisional recognition” to HI since the latter had declared itself a “private body.”

But FIH responded within 24 hours and reminded the Ministry that it had de-recognised IHF in 2000 for not being “compliant” with the statute of the world body.

The Sports Ministry assured, “The IHF will become fully compliant with the constitution of FIH, and therefore, the past should not be brought into the picture to affect the future of hockey in India.

Apprising the FIH

“The letter,” said the government, “was aimed at apprising the FIH of the recent developments leading to the recognition of IHF as the sole NSF for hockey in India, in the light of the Court orders which has been accepted by both IOA (Indian Olympic Association) and HI.

“Moreover, HI have declared before the courts, including the Supreme Court, that they are a private body and not amenable to Writ Jurisdiction.

“Since the functions of an NSF fall within the realms of public duties, it is not tenable for a private body to carry out these activities.”

Mr. Srinivas told the FIH, “Please note that under the Names and Emblem Act, 1950, no society can use the name of the Union without the approval of the Union Government. Since HI stands derecognised and is no more authorised to function as the NSF for hockey in India, it has to change its name and revise its memorandum of association to fit with its private character. The registrar of societies has been informed accordingly.

“The authority for any association to represent India in any international association comes within the ambit of the Union Government as per the Constitution of India.

“Hence, it is the responsibility of the Sports Ministry to grant recognition to NSFs in the country. It is in this context that we had advised you not to deal with HI under the impression that it is the recognised NSF for hockey in India.”

In response to FIH's contention that IHF was “not compliant” with the statute of the world body, Mr. Srinivas stressed, “We fully appreciate and respect the statute of FIH. The IHF and IWHF have been asked to amalgamate into a single society in accordance with the provisions of the Society Registration Act, 1860.

Legal process

“This is a legal process that takes a minimum of eight to 12 weeks. Once they complete this, they would become compliant with the requirements of FIH and only then, would they approach FIH for recognition.

As a matter of fact, IHF has given an undertaking before the Delhi Court today (Aug. 9) that IWHF and IHF will amalgamate into a single society as per law.”

Even as FIH appealed for “support and cooperation” on its decision to recognise HI since the women's World Cup was round the corner, the Sports Ministry stuck to its stand that the IOA or the Sports Authority of India be allowed to field the Indian team.

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 1:02:39 AM |

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