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‘Hockey India’ formed to avoid FIH debarring India from international arena

New Delhi, June 4 (ANI): Indian Olympic Association (IOA) formally endorsed the formation of Hockey India, a unified body comprising of men’s and women’s hockey associations at the national level.

This was announced by the officials of the IOA and Hockey India here on Wednesday.

The decision was taken after concerns and constant warnings were issued by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) of debarring India from the game in the international arena.

After Sports and Youth Affairs Minister superseded Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) with KPS Gill at the helm, an ad-hoc committee with renowned and veteran international players as members was formed to oversee the game in the country.

However, FIH had insisted that a proper elected and recognised body ought to be in place lest India face disqualification.

Considering these developments, the IOA which is the apex body of Olympic sports in the country mooted the formation of Hockey India to monitor and organise the game for both men and women at all levels.

” Hockey is our national game and the citizens of the country are very much interested in knowing how it is moving forward. The international body of Indian Hockey Confederation expressed concerns and have written letters as well and so result of all that, I am very happy to inform that hockey India has been formed,” said Suresh Kalmadi, President, Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

Alongside, the IOA has also formed a nine-member committee under the chairmanship of IOA Joint Secretary Harish Sharma to look into the matter and given full powers to it to take decision in issues concerning the game of hockey.

The FIH had set a 15-day deadline to act or else not only lose the hosting rights of next year’s World Cup but also the participation rights in FIH events.

A K Mattoo has been named as the President of Hockey India.He ensured that this newly formed body and its members would be to fully focus on the game and act as a common unit for both men and women hockey teams in every state of the country including institutional associates like the Railways, Services.

“Our prime focus would be one common unit of men and women teams in every state. We have a calendar, which includes existing proposals for men and women team, the international and national events. I will ensure that the calendar should be met and followed,” Mattoo said. (ANI)

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