Elena Norman quits as Hockey India CEO after 13 years

Elena Norman resigned as CEO of Hockey India after nearly 13 years on Tuesday.

Published : Feb 27, 2024 12:27 IST , New Delhi - 2 MINS READ

File Photo: Elena Norman resigns as the CEO of Hockey India.
File Photo: Elena Norman resigns as the CEO of Hockey India. | Photo Credit: MOORTHY RV

File Photo: Elena Norman resigns as the CEO of Hockey India. | Photo Credit: MOORTHY RV

After months of speculation, Hockey India’s long-serving CEO Elena Norman finally resigned on Tuesday, ending not just a 13-year-old association with the federation but also marking the end of an era in the administration of the sport.

Australian Elena took charge in 2011, soon after Hockey India was formally recognised as the sport’s governing body after years of administrative muddle and legal wrangling ever since the erstwhile Indian Hockey Federation was suspended. She became one of the first CEOs in Indian sports federations and was soon running the affairs of Hockey India.

As a confidante of then HI secretary general Narinder Batra – and through his rise to HI president, FIH president and IOA president – Elena was instrumental in making Hockey India among the best-run national sports federations in India, bringing in a professional work culture that was a far cry from the norm at that time. It resulted in a modern work culture in the teams, but her ruthless manner and demanding ways also led to a lot of grudges among many.

Batra’s dissociation from sports administration put her in a difficult position, and by her admission a while ago, she had been fighting a losing battle for a long time now, despite support from Dilip Tirkey ever since he took over as the HI president. Tirkey, while accepting her resignation, has also admitted the difficult “working environment” and “unpaid dues” as a reason for her departure, although her pending salary of three months was finally released recently, after several reminders.

READ | FIH Pro League 2023-24, home leg review: Beginning and end of different journeys for Indian hockey

Talk of her quitting was around ever since the women’s Asian Champions Trophy in November, and her absence during the Olympic Qualifiers last month only added to it. Sources also say she had been excluded from most official communications for the last few months and sidelined from decision-making.

“Elena was at the forefront of bringing women’s hockey into the limelight, providing them equal facilities as the men’s team, including cash awards...The CEO also spearheaded the launch of Hockey India Coaches Education Pathway that equipped domestic coaches with global standards along with various initiatives for Indian technical and match officials,” a Hockey India release said.

“I would like to express my gratitude for Elena’s time and dedication. Her dedication and efforts have played a pivotal role in propelling Hockey India and Indian hockey to the commendable position they hold today,” Tirkey added.

Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment