HI, IOA to field hockey teams in Asian Games: SC

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/h/hockey_295.jpg' class='caption'> The Supreme Court on Friday said that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Hockey India (HI) will field the men's and women's teams in the upcoming Asian Ga

Updated: October 22, 2010 11:09 IST
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New Delhi :

The Supreme Court on Friday said that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Hockey India (HI) will field the men's and women's teams in the upcoming Asian Games in China.

A Bench comprising Justices R V Raveendran and H L Gokhle said its interim orders passed on August 25 and 27 allowing HI and IOA for selecting teams for the recently concluded Commonwealth Games will continue for the next month's Asian Games in Guangzhou.

The order for the selection of teams for the Asian Games is based on the same fact and circumstances as was prevailing when the issue had reached the apex court in August before Women's World Cup hockey in Germany and Commonwealth Games.

The order was passed by the Bench after Hockey India's rival Indian Hockey Federation had admitted that it was not affiliated to the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

Indian Olympic Association also had said that it recognises only Hockey India as the National Federation.

The IOA had submitted before the court that being an apex body of the sports, it considers the suggestion of the respective associations and federations affiliated with it for the selection of teams.

The court maintained its previous order in which it had noted that every body agrees including HI, SAI (Sports Authority of India) and IOA that the team would be selected by the National Selection Committee which comprises former players like Zafar Iqbal, Ajit Pal Singh, Govinda and Balbir Singh.

During the hearing on the issue on August 27, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports had failed to convince the court that IOA alone could facilitate the entry of the teams to the Games.

The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Hockey India (HI) are locked in a battle for controlling Indian Hockey.

The apex court on August 17, in an interim order, had rejected Government's claim and allowed Hockey India (HI) and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to send a women's team to participate in the World Cup in Argentina.

The Bench had passed the order after Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports failed to produce any written communication to substantiate its claim that the International Hockey Federation (FIH) had authorised it to send the team for the World Cup.

HI had succeeded in placing before it a communication by the FIH which authorised it to represent the Indian team in international events.

Webb Roger, the acting Director General of FIH, in the communication had made it clear that only HI can send a team to participate in the Women's World Championship.

Hockey India has challenged the government decision revoking recognition to it for flouting guidelines relating to age and tenure of officials.

The Ministry had contended that since HI was a 'private body' it could not be authorised to select the team for representing India.

The Ministry had claimed that IHF was recognised by the FIH to send the team for the women's world cup.

The HI has also sought revocation of a letter written by government to the International Hockey Federation about its decision that HI is not a recognised body.

The letter written by the government to the IHF on August 9 had said "Hockey India has lost the national character".

HI has consistently been maintaining that it is the only recognised body for India by the International Hockey Federation.

The Delhi High Court had, on May 21, held that the HI was a private body and restrained it from holding election for its office bearers. However, the apex court had later allowed the conduct of election.

The apex court will hear the matter next in December.

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