HI following Govt. guideline on lone State units

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: There has been much confusion about who actually advised Hockey India to stick to the one-State-one-unit policy while granting affiliations to the State bodies.

The stipulation has been part of the Union Government guidelines for National Sports Federations (NSFs) for decades but it has been flouted by several federations, notably by the now-disaffiliated federations controlling men and women’s hockey, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India, over the years.

With elections to Hockey India having been announced, an impression has been created somehow that the International Hockey Federation (FIH) had laid down this criterion. What the FIH did was to ask the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to ensure that a unified body, incorporating men and women’s hockey, to run the game was in place in the country.

The FIH rule says: “A National association of a country may be or remain affiliated to the FIH only if it governs hockey for both men and women in that country.”

Govt. guideline

The Government guidelines, however, stipulate that there can only be one State association from a State/Union Territory.

In the communication sent by the Government to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) granting recognition to HI, it had been made clear that the recognition was subject to the adherence of the new body to all conditions laid down in the Government guidelines issued on August 14, 2001.

(The guidelines, first issued in 1975, were amended from time to time, incorporating various new provisions.)

The stipulation about one State and one unit had been recorded in the minutes of several meetings HI had with the Sports Ministry officials in recent weeks, according to HI Secretary-General Narinder Batra.

Interestingly, the Government guidelines also stipulate that only State/Union Territory units shall have the right to vote in general body meetings.

The original HI rules adhered to this provision, but now a proposal has been made and included in the agenda for the now-postponed general body meeting to provide for one vote each to institutional boards.

Not just that, these units are also to be allowed to vote in the elections after the amendment to the constitution.

The guidelines stipulate that such boards could be admitted as associate members without voting rights in the general body meetings.

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