New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre Monday said that Hockey India (HI) and the derecognised Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) should merge for the betterment of the sport in the country.
The Spaniard said the two organisations must keep aside their egos, and gave them a month’s time to find a merger solution.
“We have given them a month’s time to find a solution. We are acting as a mediator between HI and IHF. We are listening to both the sides and trying to find a solution. We tried our best to reach an agreement and had very good discussions with both parties,” Negre told reporters at a press conference here.
“We were very close to reaching a solution but there are very small disputes which need to be sorted out. So, we have given both the parties one month’s time to come together,” he said.
Negre said the world body would treat IHF’s rebel World Series Hockey (WSH) as an “unsanctioned event” but didn’t say it clearly if the players would be banned.
“We are not against the concept of the WSH. There is need for a strong professional league in India. But we can only sanction tournaments (domestic or international) organised by HI as FIH does not recognise IHF.”
“FIH is not here to sanction players. The FIH is always there for players, officials and umpires. We do not like to sanction anyone. If a player decides to play in the WSH, he is free. But problems will arise if HI and IHF fail to reach an agreement in a month’s time,” Negre said.