A day after the IOA gave 21 days time to both Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation to submit a new merger proposal, the IHF today accused the national Olympic body of playing "double standards" in the crisis related to the game's governance in the country.
IHF claimed that IOA is going out of its way to protect HI. "The settlement between IHF and HI was reached on 25th July, 2011 which was purely an internal arrangement, but was promptly rejected by the IOA and FIH," IHF secretary general Ashok Mathur said in a statement.
"The IOA is also playing double standard since it recognises IHF as per court order and on the other hand writes to Government and FIH to deal with Hockey India. This is how they are protecting a body which was illegally formed," he added.
The working agreement between HI and IHF, which was reached on the behest of the sports ministry, failed completely yesterday after a meeting between the government, IOA and the two warring bodies failed to resolve the governance crisis.
Faced with the prospect of the national team being ousted from the race to qualify for London Olympics, various stakeholders of Indian hockey went into a huddle yesterday but failed to reach a consensus, forcing the IOA to issue an ultimatum to HI and IHF.
Squaring the blame equally on the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for the mess, IHF claimed that the world body was taking Indian hockey for a ride.
"The FIH has gone out of reach to reject it (working agreement) and again started blackmailing the Indian authorities over conduct and participation of Indian team in various tournaments," IHF said.
"IHF still stand by the said settlement and is prepared to go further in the interest of Indian hockey. We broadly agree on sharing of power with Hockey India on temporary basis so that there remains no air of confusion till the Olympics," it added.
While blaming HI for the mess in Indian hockey, the IHF said it's upcoming World Series Hockey is a positive move, which will benefit all and sundry.Â "We earnestly desire to see the plight of Indian hockey and it's players improve and the organisation of WSH is one step in this direction," it said. "But the 'self before the game' attitude of HI officials are bringing the game to disrepute."