Mumbai: Less than three months after asking the Indian Hockey Federation to exhibit patience and await the government's process in solving the differences between IHF and its rival Hockey India (HI), the International Hockey Federation (FIH) appears to have pulled the plug on the move.
FIH had withdrawn the Champions Trophy from India on Tuesday "to maintain the integrity" of hockey.
But in a reply on June 21 to IHF's missive, the FIH asked the former to wait for the outcome of the government's process, it was learnt by PTI on Wednesday.
"We have received the Statement of Case and exhibits prepared by you on behalf of the Indian Hockey Federation, seeking a declaration that the FIH is not entitled to recognise Hockey India as its member for India, rather your client is the only body entitled to recognition as the member of the FIH for India," FIH's CEO Kelly Fairweather had written to IHF's lawyers.
"We understand that the Indian Government is currently in the middle of trying to broker a settlement of all outstanding differences between Hockey India and the IHF, including vis-a-vis the FIH. Indeed, this process is expressly envisaged and called for in paragraph 8 of the Court Order dated 27.07.2010 exhibited to your Statement of Case.
"We do not wish that process to be interfered with or disturbed in any way; nor do we want to spend time or resources on issues that may shortly become moot. We will therefore hold the Statement of Case in abeyance pending notice from Hockey India, the Indian Government and/or yourselves as to the outcome of the current settlement process," the letter from FIH to IHF said.
FIH has recognised HI as India's governing body, responsible as a member of the world body for running the game in the country in accordance with its objectives rules and regulations.
FIH, reasoning why the December 3-11 Champions Trophy was snatched away from India, stated that the issue involved was the governance structure of hockey in the country.
"At issue is the governance structure of the sport of hockey in India. It is a fundamental and non-negotiable requirement of the Olympic Charter and the FIH Statutes that there is only be one governing body for any one sport in any country with exclusive authority and responsibility to govern, organise national competitions and to enter national teams in international competitions," FIH said in its statement.
FIH president Leandro Negre also expressed regret for the decision to move the premier tournament away from India.
"We regret that we have to move the Champions Trophy from India. It is difficult for the teams, the organisers and the fans. But we feel that this is the only way to maintain the integrity of our sport," Negre stated.
Two-time Olympian and chairman of the FIH Athlete's Committee, Dr Michael Green also supported the decision.
"The first priority has to be the athletes, and while this was a tough decision for the FIH to make, I feel that they have ultimately made the choice that is best for the athletes involved,"