New Delhi: Hockey India (HI) and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) resolved some contentious issues on Thursday and made considerable progress towards having one hockey federation in the country.
It was decided that the unified body will have a new name while at the same time the two federations will continue to exist independently.
Names such as Bharat Hockey, Indian Hockey and the old Indian Hockey Confederation have been pitched forward.
The executive board of the new federation will have equal representatives of 19 members each from HI and IHF. There will be a joint selection committee for choosing the national teams.
The two parties met in the morning, when sports minister Ajay Maken was also present, and had a second round of talks in the evening.
Another round of discussion is scheduled for Friday that will further clear the way for a new federation.
Hockey India (HI) secretary general Narinder Batra, and officials Rajeev Mehta, Pratap Satpathy and Anandeshwar Pandey were present.
From IHF, president R.K. Shetty and secretary Ashok Mathur were also present.
Shetty said since IHF has already entered into a contract to have a world series hockey league, it is not possible to completely merge with HI.
"We have made good progress in today's meeting and there was agreement in most of the points. There are various reasons why we cannot merge now. One of the thing is that both have announced separate leagues. We are already into a contract to hold the league for 15 years. HI has announced its own league. So we cannot shut shop immediately," Shetty told IANS.
"But once we start working together we will have a comfort level and we will look to merge at the earliest," he said.
"There are still some issues that need to be addressed. But we are hopeful that it will be worked out," he said.
Batra said he was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting.
"Things are moving forward. We have laid out the broad parameters to resolve the issues. We have decided to meet again tomorrow and hopefully we will be able to reach a common ground which will be good for Indian hockey," Batra said.
The merger plan was put forward by the sports ministry on June 20 after discussion with HI and IHF.
IHF, which got its suspension lifted by the Delhi high Court last year, had reservations about the proposal of co-option with HI.