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Hockey India election to be held before World Cup


New Delhi : International Hockey Federation (FIH) vice-president Antonio Von Ondarza and Sports Minister M.S.Gill Friday agreed that the election to Hockey India (HI) should be held within a month and certainly before the World Cup in February-March.

It is learnt that in discussions between them they tried to address the issues that delayed the election, importantly the vexed process of affiliation of state units.

HI had set in motion the election process for a new body by Nov 18 to meet the International Hockey Federation (FIH) deadline for the installation of a unified organisation before the World Cup.

However, the sports ministry asked the HI to put off the election with some state units raising doubts over the process of affiliation.

HI has said that only one unit will be given affiliation from one state while states like Bhopal, Maharashtra, Punjab have more than one unit.

Also, major states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Punjab have not been given affiliation while seven north-eastern states have been granted affiliation.

Bengal Hockey Association (BHA) secretary Gurbax Singh said he met Ondarza, who has been appointed observer for the election, and told him that there should be a fresh look into the process of granting affiliation.

“We had a discussion with FIH vice-president and he assured us that the granting of affiliation would be held in transparent manner. We are happy that the sports ministry has stepped in and with FIH also playing their part the issues will be resolved,” said Gurbax Singh.

“We want a fair election and Indian Olympic Association need to see that the new body should be a true representative of the state units,” he added.