In a major setback, the much-anticipated merger process between Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation fell apart today, thereby plunging the fate of the national game into deep uncertainty.
The talks between the two parties failed following a series of meetings, spanned over the last two days, in the presence of sports ministry officials.
Incidentally, the merger talks seemed to be heading towards a positive conclusion since the start of the meeting yesterday, but eventually hit a roadblock with the IHF coming up with some new demands in the last minute.
"There was no consensus. Merger was not a subject at any point of time, it was a settlement which has failed," IHF secretary Ashok Mathur told reporters outside the sports ministry office here.
"Power sharing and World Series Hockey turned out to be the major road-blocking issues. We wanted some more clarifications on World Series Hockey and power sharing. Our members wanted more power in the unified body which they disagreed," he added.
Mathur, however, lauded the government's initiative but said any settlement should be based on equitable basis.
"The government tried its best. I don't think the government will take any more initiative in future, but hockey will continue."
When reminded that the International Hockey Federation (FIH) does not recognise IHF, he promptly replied, "We are not answerable to FIH and the matter is sub-judice."