Adopt constitution and hold fresh elections to ensure staging of World Cup: FIH to CoA

FIH CEO Thierry Weil expressed his “concerns” about the CoA not replying to the world body’s correspondence on July 17, seeking answers on these issues.

FILE PHOTO: FIH CEO Thierry Weil also said the world body and Asian Hockey Federation are willing to provide all necessary support and cooperation to the CoA, which is currently running the sport in India.

FILE PHOTO: FIH CEO Thierry Weil also said the world body and Asian Hockey Federation are willing to provide all necessary support and cooperation to the CoA, which is currently running the sport in India. | Photo Credit: BISWARANJANROUT

FIH CEO Thierry Weil expressed his “concerns” about the CoA not replying to the world body’s correspondence on July 17, seeking answers on these issues.

The world hockey body (FIH) on Wednesday sought a “detailed timeline” from the court-appointed CoA on the adoption of the new constitution and holding of fresh elections of Hockey India to ensure that next year’s men’s World Cup stays in India.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) shot off a letter to the Committee of Administrators (CoA), asking it to “expeditiously” draft the new Constitution and conduct elections and said any further delay would jeopardise the World Cup, scheduled to be held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela from January 13 to 29 next year.

“In order to ensure that the 2023 FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup can still be played in India as planned, we kindly ask you to provide us with a detailed timeline for the preparation and adoption of the Constitution as well as the holding of the elections to the Executive Board of Hockey India,” FIH CEO Thierry Weil wrote in a letter to the Hockey India CoA, a copy of which is in possession of PTI.

Weil also expressed his “concerns” about the CoA not replying to the world body’s correspondence on July 17, seeking answers on these issues.

“We would like to reiterate that Elections should take place expeditiously to allow the newly elected Executive Board of Hockey India to have adequate time to properly organize the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup...,” Weil said in his communication on Wednesday.

“In all honesty, the fact that you have not reacted at all to our letter from last week is giving up concerns as to Hockey India’s ability to host the upcoming FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup which is of paramount importance to us.

“To that extent, should Hockey India Constitution-drafting and elections be delayed any further, that will seriously increase our concerns,” he added.

A cloud of uncertainty looms over the World Cup in India after the Delhi High Court in May placed Hockey India under a three-member CoA following observations that the federation had violated the National Sports Code.

The court ruling came on a petition filed by former India player Aslam Sher Khan, who had challenged Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and FIH president Narinder Batra’s appointment as a life member of Hockey India.

The FIH CEO also said the world body and Asian Hockey Federation are willing to provide all necessary support and cooperation to the CoA, which is currently running the sport in the country.

“In the Constitution making process, please be advised that the FIH and Asian Hockey Federation would be happy to cooperate with the CoA and are willing to provide any assistance required to amend the Constitution in line with the rules laid down by the Government of India so that the elections to the Executive Board of Hockey India can be held in accordance with the new Constitution,” he said.

“... the priority is to prepare and adopt the Constitution of Hockey India, which will subsequently have to be approved by FIH.” The letter also states that a joint delegation of FIH and AHF will be sent to India soon to discuss these matters, which if not solved, will have direct consequences on India’s World Cup hosting rights.

Repeated calls to CoA members went unanswered. 

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