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Hockey India Election Process to be Completed by October 9, Say FIH and CoA in Joint Statement

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Hockey India’s election process will be completed by October 9, the Committee of Administrators-managed sports body said on Wednesday after submitting the first draft of its modified constitution to the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

In a joint statement, the FIH and CoA said the final draft of the constitution will be delivered to the FIH headquarters at Lausanne “within the next 10 days”.

“The first draft of the modified constitution of Hockey India, as directed by the honourable Delhi High Court, has been submitted today to FIH and the CoA, Hockey India 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, 2022,” the joint statement read.

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A two-member delegation from the FIH is in the national capital to discuss the way forward and avert a possible suspension of Hockey India, currently placed under a CoA on the directive of the Delhi High Court.

The good news for HI is that FIH “does not consider the court as a third party”, ruling out the possibility of a ban with only months left for the men’s World Cup in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela.

The meeting was attended by FIH’s acting president Seif Ahmed, CEO Thierry Weil and the members of the CoA — Justice Anil R Dave, former Judge of the Supreme Court, S Y Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner of India and Zafar Iqbal, a former Olympian.

Speaking in the context of the Delhi HC order with respect to HI, 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 interference.”

Dave said, “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 the best interest of our athletes.”

On Tuesday, the visiting FIH delegation also met Sports Secretary Sujata Chaturvedi.

“This was a positive meeting and the conversation with her is in alignment with the outcomes from today’s discussions with the CoA, Hockey India,” the statement read.

Vineel Krishna, the Odisha government’s commissioner-cum-secretary in the state’s sports and youth services department, also met with the visiting FIH delegation and made a presentation on the upcoming World Cup.

“The development of infrastructure for the prestigious tournament was appreciated by all and it was agreed upon to conduct a site visit to Rourkela on September 7th, 2022 by the members of FIH and the CoA, Hockey India.

“This visit will be followed by the official draw for the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 to be announced from Bhubaneswar on September 8th, 2022.”

This comes after the FIH last month sought a “detailed timeline” from the CoA on the adoption of an amended constitution and holding of fresh elections at HI.

The FIH CEO had last month also said they were hopeful of hosting the World Cup in India.

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