HI polls by Oct 9; Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup '23 on track


LAUSANNE, Switzerland: A joint meeting was held Wednesday between the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the Committee of Administrators (CoA), Hockey India. 

The meeting, attended by FIH acting president Seif Ahmed; FIH CEO Thierry Weil and the members of the CoA of Hockey India, Justice Anil R Dave, former Judge of the Supreme Court, Dr. S.Y. Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner of India and former Olympian as captain of the Indian hockey team Zafar Iqbal. 

The two major points put forward by the FIH were addressed by the CoA. The first draft of the modified constitution of Hockey India, as directed by the Delhi High Court, was submitted to FIH Wednesday and the HI CoA will have a final draft delivered within the next ten days. Additionally, the process of elections for Hockey India was mutually decided to be completed by October 9th. 

Speaking on the occasion and in context of the Delhi High Court Order with respect to Hockey India, Ahmed said, “We don’t consider the court as a third party and respect the judiciary. We believe that the order of a court is not an interference.” 

Justice Dave said, “We are very thankful for this visit by the FIH delegation. The interaction was extremely positive and encouraging. We have been able to conclude and agree on some important next steps to ensure the continued smooth functioning of Hockey in India keeping in mind the foremost importance of the spirit of the sport and best interest of our athletes.”

Yesterday, the visiting FIH delegation also met Ms Sujata Chaturvedi, Secretary Sports, Department of Sports, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, India. This was a positive meeting and the conversation with her is in alignment with the outcomes from Wednesday’s discussions with the CoA.  

R Vineel Krishna, Commissioner-Cum-Secretary, Sports & Youth Services Department, Government of Odisha, also met with the visiting FIH delegation and made a presentation on the progress of the upcoming FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar - Rourkela. The development of infrastructure for the tournament was appreciated by all and it was agreed upon to conduct a site visit to Rourkela on September 7th by the members of FIH and the CoA. This visit will be followed by the official draw for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 to be announced from Bhubaneswar on September 8th. 

The members of the CoA and FIH expressed their collective appreciation towards the state government of Odisha and look forward to an exceptional global event taking place on January 13-29th 2023 in Bhubaneswar & Rourkela as a befitting finale to India’s celebrations of 75 years of Independence.