IPL may force change in hockey WC venue

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/h/hockeygeneric1.jpg' class='caption'> With the final of next year's hockey WC clashing with IPL's 3rd edition, HI President AK Mattoo hinted at deferring the date of the summit clash.

Updated: August 12, 2009 09:57 IST
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New Delhi:

With the final of next year's hockey World Cup clashing with Indian Premier League's third edition, Hockey India President AK Mattoo on Wednesday hinted at deferring the date of the summit clash.

"There is a possibility that the final could be shifted to some other date," Mattoo said.

"In fact, I recently had a meeting with the FIH representatives, event manager and all the persons concerned and we explored various options during the meeting," he said.

Next year's hockey World Cup was originally scheduled to be held in the capital from March 7 to 20, but last week, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) was forced to prepone the event by a week (February 28-March 13) to avoid a clash with the IPL third season slated for March 12-April 25.

However, it seems the initial date adjustments were not enough as the World Cup organisers are now contemplating of deferring the final of the megaevent scheduled for March 13 as there is an IPL double header on the very day.

Mattoo also reiterated that the much-awaited elections of Hockey India would be conducted before the World Cup, a mandatory clause put forth by the FIH before the host nation, failing which India would be barred from participating in the event.

"I want to make it clear that it's we (Hockey India) who have provided them, the FIH, with the deadline and not them.

We have provided them six months time to hold elections. It is not a question of mercy," he said.

"You see, world over, one unit rule men and women hockey.

India is the only exception. We have a detailed discussion with the FIH President and have assured him that we will elect a body with men's and women's federation under one roof before the World Cup," he added.

Mattoo also took strong objection to Bengal Hockey Federation President JB Roy's blatant attack and said he had no intention of continuing as the Hockey India chief and was serving the game just for a limited period till the elections are over.

Since his appointment as the Hockey India President Mattoo came under continuous attack from Roy, who claimed that the body was being run by nominees headed by a former President of the boxing federation.

"I am not a candidate running for the post. I have enough experience of running an association. I introduced sub-junior boxing, led India to Confederation Games, Asian Games, World Games and Olympics.

"I had served as vice president of IOA, treasurer of IOA and currently working as treasurer, Commonwealth games. How much more experience do one need?" he questioned.

Hockey India President also said they are now busy in giving the final touches to game's national calendar which will come out very soon.

"We want to have the national championship for both men and women and will soon come out with the schedule. We are also working on international calendar," Mattoo said.

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