Hockey India hopeful of avoiding football’s fate, holding early elections

On a day FIFA suspended the All India Football Federation (AIFF) citing ‘outside interference’ and seeking early elections, Hockey India appeared to be moving towards avoiding a similar fate even as the FIH delegation came visiting to take stock of the situation.

The three-member International Hockey Federation delegation held meetings with the Odisha government and sports officials in the city on Tuesday with more planned with the Committee of Administrators (CoA) over the next two days.

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“The administrators have made it clear they are not in it for the long haul. A reworked constitution has already been drafted in accordance with the National Sports Code and we are hopeful of clearing any doubts about the World Cup with the FIH,” an official involved in the discussions told Sportstar. Bhubaneswar and Rourkela will host the 2023 Men’s World Cup in January.

The main contention issues with Hockey India, as per the court order, were the abolition of Life Member/President posts, curtailing the powers of the CEO as a stand-in for elected office bearers, and holding fresh elections. “The first two are not a big deal. As to holding elections, there needs to be an updated electoral college of state associations first.

“The CoA has already advised states to complete their election process by mid-September, with October 1 being proposed for HI elections. Any details will only be finalised after meeting the FIH delegates but we are hopeful of completing the process well in time for the World Cup,” he added.

Hockey India officials assisting the CoA in the daily functioning of the federation also played down any concerns regarding the World Cup and insisted a situation similar to football was highly unlikely.

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