New Delhi:The internal crisis in Hockey India will not affect scheduled events in the country and the body will organise a four-nation test event in January next year before the Hero Honda FIH World Cup from February 28 to March 13 here.
Hockey India President A K Mattoo said the National Stadium, the main venue for the World Cup, would be ready by December end and HI would be orgainsing a four-nation tournament from January 17-21 to test the facilities.
However, the participating teams of the tournament are yet to be finalized and it will be done once the last two qualifying events of the World Cup are over this month.
"We have finalized the dates of the test event. It will be held from January 17-21. At least one pitch would be in place before the tournament," Mattoo told reporters.
"The teams have not yet been finalized because of the late World Cup classification tournaments," he said.
International Hockey Federation President Vice President Antonio von Ondarza, who is here as an observer for HI elections, said the national federation has assured him that the stadium will be ready by the last week of December.
"I visited the stadium during my stay here but Hockey India officials have assured me that the stadium will be ready by December end even though there is still a lot of work to be done," Ondarza said. .
"They finalized the dates of the test event. However, the participating teams cannot be finalized yet because of the late World Cup classification rounds. The classifications tournaments will be over soon after which we will come out with the pools for the World Cup," Ondarza added.
"And once the pools are out, I think India coach will have look at them and select which teams he would like to play against in the test event," he added.
Incidentally, HI has been hit hard by a recent crisis after the Sports Ministry and FIH had asked it to first clear the affiliation issues before going for the polls scheduled to be held in November 18.
To add to it, secretary general of the body Mohammad Islam formally quit yesterday, accusing some of his colleagues for the delay in the election process.
Subsequently, the elections were postponed and the FIH gave HI time till February first week to sort out the affiliation issues with the state bodies.