News for 29 July 2010

All the news for Thursday 29 July 2010

100th Cap for Crandall

Today marked a milestone for 2008 USA Olympian, Lauren Crandall. The official match against Spain marked her 100th international competition. She was honored prior to the game by Coach Lee Bodimeade and the President of the Valencia Hockey Federation with a plaque. Today also marked the first international matches for Melisa Gonzalez, Paige Selenski, and Michelle Vittese.

Lee Bodimeade (paraphrased) -- "We suffered from interruptions in our travel arrangements and paid for it today. Weren't sharp in ball handling and execution. We had four good goal scoring chances in which we didn't take advantage. The last minute goal was a product of us pushing up.

Lauren Crandall (paraphrased) -- "Lack of executing basic skills put us under pressure. Really important we execute on the field when it matters. We need to put longer periods of good play together as opposed to sporadic moments. Looking forward to coming out Thursday with new determination to get the win."

Game starters - Kayla Bashore, Lauren Crandall, Rachel Dawson, Katelyn Falgowski, Michelle Kasold, Claire Laubach, Caroline Nichols, Katie O'Donnell, Katie Reinprecht, Keli Smith, Amy Swenson

Substitutes - Jesse Gey, Melissa Gonzalez, Paige Selenski, Shannon Taylor, Michelle Vittese

# ESP (very early in the 1st half) - Penalty Corner rebound
# ESP (last minute of the 2nd half) - Field Goal

Final Score - 0-2

USFHA media release

USA Women's National Team v Spain In a "Friendly"

The USA opened their tour of Europe with a 2-1 win over Spain in a "friendly" featuring three 25 minute periods.

Starters in the game were Lauren Crandall, Rachel Dawson, Katelyn Falgowski, Melissa Gonzalez, Michelle Kasold, Claire Laubach, Caroline Nichols, Julia Reinprecht, Katie Reinprecht, Keli Smith, Amy Swenson Substitutes - Jesse Gey, Jaclyn Kintzer, Katie O'Donnell, Paige Selenski, Shannon Taylor, Michelle Vittese

Lee Bodimeade said (paraphrased), "It was a good start to the tour after some very challenging travel. Cranny (Crandall), Falgo (Falgowski) and Dawson played well."

Scorers & type of goal

# USA Keli Smith - Field goal (drove baseline on right side for pass to Smith in front of net)
# USA Katie O'Donnell - Field goal (battled her way through aggressive defense in the circle for shot)
# ESP - Penalty Corner

Time of goals

# USA 2nd Period (app. 5:10)
# USA 2nd Period (app. 22:20)
# ESP 3rd Period (time expired)

Final Score - 2-1

USFHA media release

Black Sticks Women to tighten game before BDO FIH World Cup

Black Sticks Women's World Cup Captain - Kayla Sharland (Credit: Photosport)

The key focus for the Black Sticks Women as they head into the BDO World Cup will be to tighten up their game and build consistency.

In naming the BDO World Cup team today, Black Sticks Women’s Coach, Mark Hager, said the players had learnt from the recent Samsung Champions Trophy and knew that in order to improve on the international stage they needed to bring consistency into their game.

“The reality is we’re still a young team, that’s developing. However, if we want to compete successfully at the international level we need to be in the game for all 70 minutes.

“Our experience at Champions Trophy showed up our weaknesses, but it also showed our strengths. Playing day, after day, at that level tests the true mettle of the athlete – and while we showed we can compete amongst the best, we also let ourselves down at times.

“The more exposure we get like this, the better we will be as we progress towards our long term goal of building this team up.”

Hager named a similar looking team to that which competed in the Samsung Champions Trophy earlier this month.

Captained by Kayla Sharland, the team for the BDO World Cup includes the experienced heads of Emily Naylor, Krystal Forgesson, Stacey Carr and Beth Jurgeleit.

They will play alongside other players who have shown their hunger and determination over the various international test series against Argentina and India this year, along with recently playing in the Four Nations and Samsung Champions Trophy in Nottingham.

Such as Natasha Fitzsimons, who made her international debut for the Black Sticks Women in February this year against Australia, and now has 20 caps under her belt.

Noticeable exceptions to the team include the absence of Kate Mahon and Laura Douglas who played in the Samsung Champions Trophy earlier this month.

Hager said the final decision was based on selecting players who would provide the flexibility he needs through the defensive and attacking lines. Both players are on the standby list in case one of the named players is unable to travel. Anna Thorpe needs to be cleared of her quadricep injury, but has been named on the basis she will be fit enough to travel.

The Black Sticks Women qualified for the BDO World Cup by winning the Oceania Cup in Invercargill, August 2009.

In Pool A, they will play Netherlands (1), Germany (4), Australia (5), Japan (9) and India (13) in their pool. While Pool B is comprised of Argentina (2), China (3), England (6), Spain (8), Korea (11) and South Africa (12).



Sharland back from injury to lead Black Sticks

Midfielder Kayla Sharland has returned from injury and will skipper the Black Sticks at the women's hockey World Cup beginning in Argentina next month.

Sharland, who was originally selected for the Champions Trophy in England last month but had to pull out, has got over a niggling hamstring problem to be named today in an 18-strong squad for the tournament, which runs from August 29 to September 11.

Fellow midfielder Anna Thorpe, another scratching from the Champions Trophy after having been picked, has also been included for the trip to Rosario.

Sharland and Thorpe's return means Laura Douglas and Kate Mahon drop out of the squad that went to Nottingham.

However, there remains a doubt over Thorpe, who is recovering from a thigh injury and will undergo fitness tests in a fortnight.

Coach Mark Hager said one lesson from the Champions Trophy, where the Black Sticks finished fifth to improve their world ranking from No 9 to No 7, was the need for greater consistency.

"The reality is we're still a young team that's developing," he said.

"However, if we want to compete successfully at the international level we need to be in the game for all 70 minutes."

There are three players with over 100 caps in the squad -- defender Emily Naylor (133) and midfielder Stacey Carr (115) and Sharland (106).

At the other end of the experience scale, defender Natasha Fitzsimons made her international debut in February, and has accumulated 20 caps.

The World Cup, which is held every four years, is behind only the Olympics in prestige and the New Zealand women's last participation was in 2002, when they finished 11th in Perth.

The 12 nations for the upcoming event have been divided into two pools, and the three teams in New Zealand's group that are ranked above them are defending champions and world No 1 the Netherlands, Germany and Australia.

Their two other opponents are Japan and India.

The Blacks Stick need to place in the top four of their pool to achieve their target of a top-eight finish at the tournament.

The New Zealand women's hockey team for the World Cup in Argentina from August 29 to September 11:

Goalkeepers - Beth Jurgeleit (Wellington), Bianca Russell (North Harbour);

Defenders - Emily Naylor (Central), Clarissa Eshuis (Midlands), Lucy Talbot (Auckland), Natasha Fitzsimons (North Harbour);

Midfielders - Kayla Sharland (captain, Central), Stacey Carr (Canterbury), Ella Gunson (Northland), Sam Harrison (Auckland), Gemma Flynn (Midlands),

Anna Thorpe (Northland), Stacey Michelsen (North Harbour), Anita Punt (Wellington);

Strikers - Krystal Forgesson (Auckland), Katie Glynn (Auckland), Piki Hamahona (Central), Charlotte Harrison (Northland).


NZ women look to eliminate soft mistakes

The New Zealand women's hockey team will look to eliminate soft mistakes as they target a top-eight finish at the World Cup starting in Argentina next month.

An 18-strong squad for the 12-nation tournament in Rosario were named today and feature the return from injury of skipper and Central midfielder Kayla Sharland and Northland midfielder Anna Thorpe.

The pair were initially selected for the six-team Champions Trophy in England this month, before pulling out.

In their absence, the Blacks Sticks finished a creditable fifth in Nottingham, a result that pushed their world ranking up two places to No 7.

Along the way, they beat world No 3 China and drew with England, but also leaked five goals to their opening World Cup opponents Germany.

Coach Mark Hager said his players were aware they faced a tough start to the upcoming tournament, which runs from August 29 to September 11.

"We know Germany are going to be hard, they beat us 5-2," he said.

"But when I look at that game, I go, how did we lose 5-2? It was mainly because of soft mistakes in our attack and defence, so we need to look at that."

Other countries in New Zealand's pool are world No 1 and defending champions the Netherlands, Germany and Australia, and two teams ranked below the Black Sticks in Japan and India.

To achieve their goal of finishing in the top eight, they need to place at least fourth in their pool.

Hager said lessons from the Champions Trophy included the need to tighten up the defence at set pieces, not turning the ball over in transition and avoiding being exposed at the back when moving forward on a counterattack.

He noted that New Zealand conceded an average of more than three goals over their six games.

"If we do that, we are not going to compete because we are going to have to score four," he said.

"If we can keep them down to one or two, this team is capable of hitting two or three per game, so we can upset a few teams."

Along with the Champions Trophy and the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October, the World Cup is one of three big tournaments for the Black Sticks this year and is the most prestigious.

Hockey New Zealand chief executive Hilary Poole described the squad as a relatively young one and rated them as being ahead of schedule as they built towards the long-term goal of qualifying for and being competitive at the 2012 Olympics in London.

She praised the Black Sticks' performance at the Champions Trophy, adding: "They are knocking on the door of the top six and they are ahead of where we expected them to be at this stage."

Sharland is one of three players in the squad with more than 100 caps, the others being Central defender Emily Naylor and Canterbury midfielder Stacey Carr.

Two others, Auckland striker Krystal Forgesson and Wellington goalkeeper Beth Jurgeleit, are in line to reach the century milestone during the World Cup.


Old Boys pull it out of the fire


IN AN absorbing match, Old Selbornians shared the honours 2-2 with United A in their top of the table Premier League hockey clash in East London on Sunday, snatching the equaliser with only four minutes left on the clock.

This result leaves United two points ahead of Old Selbornians in the Premier League standings, with all signs pointing to the championship going to one of these two teams.

Old Selbornians had slightly the better of a very tight first half, being solid in midfield and earning three penalty corners without conceding one, but they failed to capitalise on what has been a strong point of their game this season. Early in the second half, they converted their fourth attempt with an unstoppable drag- flick by Wade Young.

United A then regrouped and gradually began to push Old Boys back and put them under pressure in their own half.

Halfway through the second half they got on level terms with a strong shot by Hiram de Klerk and a few minutes later, United A took the lead when striker Reece Basson scored with a skilful finish after forcing an error in the Old Selbornian backline. It appeared that United would win the encounter, but Old Boys refused to lie down.

They threw everything into attack and were rewarded for their efforts, when a good cross from the left by Young was turned in at the near post by Mark Hobbs, illustrating the never-say-die qualities Old Selbornians have shown all season.

“Honours even was a fair reflection of the match,” said Basson after the match.

“Old Boys came out flying in the first half, but we had the better of the second,” he said.

In other matches Knights and Bohemians drew 3-3 and Parkside, without the services of striker Julian Hykes, who was at a national training camp, beat United B 3-0.

Daily Dispatch

PHF names squad for Youth Olympics

By Mohammad Yaqoob

LAHORE: Selection committee of the Pakistan Hockey Federation, after holding one-day trials at the National Hockey Stadium on Wednesday, announced a 16-member junior squad to take part in the first Youth Olympic Games.

Chief selector, Olympian Hanif Khan, along with his other members –– Mussadiq Hussain, Arshad Chaudhry and Mohammad Usman –– watched the boys in the trials before finalising the squad.

The event is scheduled to be held in Singapore from Aug 14 to 26. Six teams will take part in the hockey event which will be played on single-league basis.

Pakistan will play their first match against Ghana on Aug 17, second against Chile on Aug 18, third against Singapore on Aug 20, fourth against Australia on Aug 21 and fifth against Belgium on Aug 23.

Final and classification matches will be played on Aug 24.

Chief selector Hanif Khan said that the selected squad was talented and capable of winning the event. He felt defence of the squad was strong and hoped youngsters would deliver.

Meanwhile, coach Khawaja Junaid said the event would help the selection committee pick some youngsters as back up for the national side.

He said there were many talented players who had the ability to get place in the national team in future.


Goalkeepers: Mazhar Abbas, Adnan Shakoor.
Fullbacks: Amir Sultan, Usman Aslam, Ali Hassan Faraz.
Halves: Mohammad Sohaib, Syed Kashif Shah (captain), Amir Ashiq, Mohammad Rizwan.
Forwards: Mohammad Umair, Mohammad Irfan, Arslan Qadir, Ahmad Zubair, Mohammad Suleman, Ali Shan, Mohammad Adnan.
Standbys: Yasir Khan, Fahad Khan, Yasir Ali, Kamran Asif, Hafiz Zohaib, Shaharyar, Abdul Karim and Zohaib Khan.


HI elections adjourned

Principal Correspondent

On a day of dramatic developments, Hockey India (HI) on Wednesday adjourned its annual general meeting, convened for holding its elections, sine die.

Before HI could start its proceedings for the elections, the Delhi High Court asked the Union Government to explain why it was not making it clear that HI was a private body and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) was the sole governing body of the sport in the country, a pre-condition laid down by the court the previous day for holding the elections.

While the HI electorate waited for long hours to go ahead with its polls, the government stuck to its stand that it recognised both IHF and HI and, on court orders, withdrew its observer from HI elections. This prompted the court to stay the HI elections till August 10.

The court had summoned the Union Sports Ministry Joint Secretary, Injeti Srinivas, after the IHF moved a contempt petition on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court also stayed the elections following an appeal moved by Hockey Maharashtra.

Thus, HI was left with no other choice but to adjourn its meeting sine die. HI Secretary Narinder Batra said their hands were tied because of the stay orders by the courts. “We tried to hold elections in November last year, then in January and now. But every time there was some problem or the other,” he said.

Observer flabbergasted

However, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) observer for the HI elections, Antonio von Ondarza, was “flabbergasted” with the never-ending legal proceedings which had been posing hurdles for the HI elections.

Ondarza stopped short of saying that if HI elections were not held by the latest deadline of July 31, then India might lose the right to participate in international tournaments. If that happens, then India might not take part in the women's World Cup, scheduled in Rosario (Argentina) next month.

However, Ondarza said the final decision in this regard would be taken after he consulted with his other colleagues in the FIH.

“The FIH is deeply hurt by this. We put all our efforts and we were always promised that this would be done… I do not believe in dates anymore,” a disgusted Ondarza said.

Arguing that the FIH had derecognised IHF in 2000, Ondarza said, “If the court says IHF is the sole governing body in India, then how can I not be surprised!”

He clarified that since 2000, the Indian Hockey Confederation (IHC) had been representing India. However, as the FIH saw that it was running only on paper, it gave recognition to HI — a unified body of men and women.

Ondarza stressed that, as required by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and FIH regulations, the national federation must be a democratically elected unified body for both men and women.

“In the last two years, we have gone from deadline to deadline. But we have our statutes to go by and India does not comply with those. HI has done everything except the elections,” he said.

He pleaded with all parties concerned to thrash out a solution for the betterment of the sport and the athletes. “The ball is in India's court, whosoever is involved — the government, the court, the officials — should get the job done,” Ondarza said.

“We want hockey to be played on the field, not in courts,” he added.

Meanwhile, a delighted IHF President K.P.S. Gill welcomed the latest developments and said all parties concerned should sit together and sort out the issue.

He welcomed the government's stand on IHF and HI. “I am happy with the government's statement yesterday, it is a positive thing. Had the government taken the step two months back the problems would have been sorted out by now,” Gill said.

Gill is scheduled to meet Ondarza and the meeting assumes significance as it could be the first step forward towards ending the long-standing dispute between IHF and HI.

The Hindu


HI elections adjourned sine die

MS Unnikrishnan

In a dramatic development, the Hockey India (HI) elections were adjourned sine die by Returning Officer Justice RC Chopra (retd) after the Bombay High Court and the Delhi High Court stayed the election process.

The elections were scheduled to be held today, but now uncertainty looms large over the polls even as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) had given an ultimatum to Hockey India to hold the elections before July 31 or else face sanction.

Forced to put off its polls for the fourth time, HI has decided to move the Supreme Court against the stay order, even as the FIH threatened to impose sanctions on India if elections were not held at the earliest. “We are moving the Supreme Court within two days against the stay order. There are court cases in almost every state, so we will ask the Honourable Supreme Court to take all cases and solve them at the earliest in the best interest of our national game,” HI lawyer Hitesh Jain said.

The Delhi High Court had directed the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to withdraw the government’s observer for the Hockey India elections as it ruled that the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) was the sole representative body of the national game in the country as HI was a private body.

Accordingly, the government yesterday withdrew its observer SK Mendiratta from the HI elections.

The Delhi High Court had on May 21 set aside government’s decision to de-recognise the IHF and its disaffiliation by the Indian Olympic Association.

But today, the Sports Ministry filed an application in the high court through joint secretary Injeti Srinivas asserting that the government had given recognition to both IHF and HI.

Justice Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, taking a serious view of the Ministry’s change of stance, said it was a breach of the court’s order despite the assurance given by the Ministry’s advocate yesterday, and directed the government to issue a fresh letter. But the government refused, insisting that it had recognised both IHF and HI, following which the court stayed the elections.

Justice Muralidhar said there could be one recognised body for hockey and “this court is left with no option, but to stay the election process till further orders”.

Justice Chopra then adjourned the HI elections sine die, till the court vacates the stay. Former Indian captain and Olympian Pargat Singh, who was contesting for the post of president, said: “It’s very unfortunate for the country and hockey will be the loser; no individual is going to lose anything”.

FIH vice-president and observer for the elections Antonio Van Ondrasa was furious at the turn of events, saying it was very shameful and he did not come to the country to watch such a drama. He said the IHF was history for the FIH, as it had derecognised the Indian body 10 years ago, in 2000. He did not give a clear reply to a question whether the FIH would give another deadline to HI to complete the election process, as the July 31 deadline would not be met now.

The FIH had threatened to deny India participation in the upcoming Women’s World Cup in August for which India have qualified, and all other international tournaments.

When asked if India would be allowed to play in the World Cup, he said, “I cannot answer that question.”

“Now we face the spectre of being denied permission to play in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi (October) and the Asian Games in China (November),” said a senior HI official.

“The FIH’s objective is to help Indian hockey. We want India to come up in the game. You can hold the elections in the next five-six days, or seven-eight’s not a question of a few days. Who knows whether this will go on forever…” wondered the FIH vice-president.

He said the latest development was not good for the growth of Indian sports.

“India has a lot of catching up to do in sports. We should not be going from court to court,” he noted.

He asked the media and the well-wishers of Indian hockey “to give a wake-up call to the court”. “Let us put some pressure, otherwise, we are not going to achieve anything,” he added.

The Tribune

Bombay High Court defers Hockey India elections by 3 weeks

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: The elections to the governing body for hockey in India, Hockey India (HI), continued to face legal barriers. On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court as well as the Bombay HC stayed the elections to the executive body of HI.

In Mumbai, the HC stayed the HI elections for three weeks on a petition filed by Mumbai Hockey Association (MHA). The HC was informed that the Delhi HC had also stayed the elections scheduled on Wednesday as the Central government did not comply with its earlier May 2010 order.

The Delhi HC expressed its dissatisfaction against the Centre for non-compliance of its order. Justice S Muralidhar noted that "this court is left with no option but to stay the election process till further orders" after being informed by the government it was unable to clarify the legal position as enunciated by HC earlier. Instead, the government argued that it wanted to recognise both HI and KPS Gill-led Indian Hockey Federation.

HC viewed government's stand as a breach of the court's order and directed the government to issue a fresh letter clarifying the legal status. The government, however, refused maintaining the stand that both the HI and the IHF are recognised bodies and indicated it was willing to challenge the single judge's order by appealing before a division bench.

Joint Secretary (sports) appeared before the court and maintained that the HI is also a government recognised body.

HC then made it clear that the elections in the HI will not be allowed as long as the confusion persists. HC also slammed authorities for not complying with its order despite the assurance given by the counsels on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, HC had said the government should not associate itself with the HI elections as it is a "private body".

Advocate Hitesh Jain, who represents HI, said later that HI will be moving the Supreme Court against the stay on Thursday.

In Mumbai, MHA had moved the HC afresh with the grievance that HI, despite directions from the court, had not considered its representation to be recognised in the state.

Interestingly, four different hockey associations had dragged HI to court in different high courts. While Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh High Courts did not grant any stay on the elections, Bombay and Delhi did.

The sticky mess

April 2008: IHF is dissolved by IOA in the aftermath of the country's failure to qualify for the Beijing Olympics. Disaffiliation by IOA and derecognition by the sports ministry follows. An ad-hoc body formed by the IOA takes over. KPS Gill goes to court.

June 2009: Hockey India formally comes into existence; Ashok Kumar Mattoo appointed interim president. FIH sets October deadline for elections but it is postponed to December. This deadline too is not met as member associations cry foul on affiliation front. New date for election (January 29) is announced.

January 2010: Pay dispute and player unrest rock Hockey India. Mattoo resigns as HI chief. Elections are postponed to February 7 as formalities are not completed.

February 2010: Elections are postponed for the 3rd time after the Jaipur HC stays the minutes of a meeting where affiliations were granted to various units. After repeatedly threatening to take the Feb-March World Cup away from the country, FIH president Leandro Negre reassures India.

March 2010: Negre tells HI that FIH will not hesitate to disaffiliate India if it does not have an elected body by end of May.

May 2010: Delhi HC restores pre-April 2008 status to IHF; quashes centre's decision to de-recognise IHF.

June 2010: May deadline passes. HI secretary general Narendra Batra announces July 28 as the new date for elections.

July 27, 2010: Delhi HC says IHF is the only recognised body.

The Times of India

HI to move SC against stay orders; FIH threatens sanction

NEW DELHI: Forced to put off its polls for the fourth time, Hockey India on Wednesday decided to move the Supreme Court against the stay order of the Bombay High Court even as the world body (FIH) threatened to impose sanctions on India if elections were not held at the earliest.

On a day of rapid developments, the Bombay High Court first stayed HI elections, which was scheduled to be held on Wednesday, for three weeks on a petition filed by the Mumbai Hockey Association.

If that was not enough, in the afternoon the Delhi High Court also stayed the poll process following the government's failure to clarify the legal position regarding HI and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), which forced the HI to postpone its elections.

With the HI likely to miss FIH's July 31 deadline for the elections, its lawyer Hitesh Jain said they were left with no other option but to move the Supreme Court to sort out the court cases in various states.

"We are moving the Supreme Court within two days time against the Bombay High Court's stay order. There are court cases in almost every state, so we will ask the Honourable Supreme Court to take all the cases and solve them at the earliest in the best interest of our national game," Jain said.

As expected, the election postponement did not go down well with FIH, which warned India of dire consequences after the national body failed to conduct its polls.

FIH vice-president Antonio von Ondarza, who was also the international body's observer for HI polls, said they cannot afford to give any further provisional acceptance to HI and it was time to act or face sanction.

"This time I expected to have a drink with my newly elected HI office bearers rather than facing this situation. We are deeply hurt because we have put all our effort," a disappointed Ondarza told reporters.

"At this point of time I can't say what will happen because I need to consult my other board members. But HI is still not in compliance with our guideliness. We had given provisional acceptance to HI but come July 31, these provisions won't exist.

"It is now the duty of all the parties concerned in India, including the government to set the ball rolling. We don't want to take any drastic steps but please don't force us to do it," he said.

Ondarza said FIH is no mood to harm the players' interest by imposing sanction but if elections were not held within a few days time, it will be left with no other option, which means India will be barred from participating in the women's World Cup in Argentina, starting next month.

The Times of India

World body bats for HI, wants elections soon

The wait for the elections to Hockey India (HI) got longer on Wednesday. Stay orders in the Delhi and Mumbai High Court resulted in HI deferring its polls by at least two weeks. What is disconcerting is that even if the orders are vacated, HI will surely miss the fourth deadline of July 31 set by international hockey federation (FIH). Despite the confusion on Tuesday when the government observer for the polls was recalled, HI had decided to go ahead with its schedule.

FIH vice president, Antonio von Ondarza, was also present on the occasion and was visibly disappointed after HI decided to adjourn its annual general meeting in the wake of the court orders. "I had hoped to share a drink with the newly-elected members. Instead, I am flabbergasted at the turn of events," he said.

Ondarza was surprised that the matter of the Indian Hockey Federation was being brought up again despite a ban imposed by the international body. "IHF was banned 10 years ago. Why is it being brought back into a position of power is something that is beyond me."

It is another matter that the FIH had not banned IHF but asked it to merge with its women’s counterpart and hand over affiliation to the Indian Hockey Confederation (IHC).

The Delhi High Court had earlier deemed IHF as the only recognised body of hockey in India.

The fate of the sport lies in delicate balance as Ondarza warned that provisional acceptance given to HI on the condition of holding elections by July 31, might be withdrawn. This would mean that both the men and women’s teams could be debarred.

The first casualty would be the women’s team that would not be able to take part in the World Cup in Argentina in August. "Although unfair to the athletes, I am answerable to the stakeholders and have compulsions," said Ondarza. But he did indicate that if HI was able to get the stay vacated and conduct elections in a week, FIH might yet give its consent.

HI secretary general, Narinder Batra, was confident of conducting polls within days if the stay was vacated. "We have always wanted to conduct polls as per the FIH deadline. We will try and get the stays vacated but saying anything more on a matter which is sub-judice, would not be appropriate," he said.

IHF president, KPS Gill, seemed to favour truce and said it was time to stop mudslinging. "I appreciate the government’s efforts and don’t find the need to go into debates anymore. I will meet Antonio von Ondarza on Thursday to discuss present matters," he said.

Hindustan Times

Hockey’s turf war gets murkier

Confusion prevailed as the tussle to control Indian hockey got murkier. It was a day when Hockey India couldn’t hold its election because of a court ruling, the Sports Ministry continued to recognise two national bodies while the FIH vice-president Antonio van Ondarza wasn’t clear about India’s future internationally.

Even though HI had decided to go ahead with the elections despite Tuesday’s court order that derecognise them, president-candidate Pargat Singh opposed any voting till the Sports Ministry filed its reply in the Delhi High Court. That process remained inconclusive as the court stayed the elections till August 9 and directed the parties involved — the KPS Gill-led IHF, the sports ministry, the IOA and Hockey India — to sit together and sort their differences. The ministry, on its part, refused to issue any more clarifications to the court on its stated position.

More drama unfolded when the Bombay High Court stayed HI’s elections after hearing a petition filed by Ikram Khan, former secretary of the Maharashtra Hockey Association. While HI went to a division bench of the Bombay HC seeking vacation of the order, they are now planning to petition the Supreme Court on Thursday in an attempt to end the impasse. “There will be two requests made by Hockey India to the Supreme Court: one, vacating the stay order on elections in both Delhi and Bombay. And two, clubbing of all such related matters, pending in various courts across India, under one umbrella in an attempt to put a complete end to such matters,” HI sources said. Its interim secretary Narinder Batra claimed helplessness. “We have wanted to hold elections. We tried doing it thrice before, but everytime there was stay. I cannot do anything in this matter, except hope for an early resolution of the legal hurdles. We held our AGM this morning as scheduled. Elections were the second item on our agenda but the court orders forced us to postpone it,” he said.

Meanwhile, the international federation’s representative Ondarza was puzzled by the developments. “We have gone from deadline to deadline in the last two years and achieved nothing. HI has a provisional acceptance from FIH only till July 31, 2010,” he said. IHF president KPS Gill hinted at a possible solution to the problem. “After the so-called disaffiliation, I wrote a letter to Ministry, IOA and FIH and told them that I’m ready to sit together with anybody to find a solution but till now nothing has come out of it,” he said.

Indian Express

HC raps Centre over status of Hockey India

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday came down heavily on the Central government for not complying with its order regarding recognition of Hockey India (HI) and said that elections in it might be postponed.

Despite the High Court's order that HI is a private body and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) the only recognised body of the sport, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports said that both IHF and HI are recognised bodies.

Furious over the stand taken by the government, Justice S Murlidhar said that it's a breach of the court's order and directed the government to issue fresh letter clarifying its stand by this evening.

The court directed the Joint Secretary (Sports) Injeti Srinivas to appear before it at 3 pm with a clarification on government's stand regarding status of HI.

The court also made it clear that the elections in HI will not be allowed if the confusion persists.

The High Court on Tuesday said the government should not associate itself with the HI elections as it is a private body and held that the IHF is the only recognised body for the sport in the country.

The court had said that the election will be held only when the confusion regarding its status is cleared.

It had also asked the government to withdraw its observer appointed to monitor the HI election.

The High Court had on May 21 set aside the Centre's decision to de-recognise the IHF and the Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) de-affiliation of the Federation.

The Times of India

HC slams Sports Ministry

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday stayed the election of Hockey India (HI) while expressing its displeasure over the “confusion” created by the Sports Ministry’s move in recognising two national bodies. Spanned over the day, Justice S Muralidhar was constrained to hear the matter thrice as the flip-flop by the ministry continued. The court drama as it unfolded:

10.30 am: The counsel for the ministry submitted the clarification sent to all the state bodies. Significantly, the letter, which had to state that HI was a private body and IHF remained the only sport federation recognised by the government, had to be issued as a mandatory condition if the HI election had to go on as scheduled on Wednesday. The judge took an umbrage at the clarification and asked the counsel to call to the court the official responsible for drafting the letter.

12.30 pm: Joint Secretary (Sports) Injeti Srinivas appeared before the court and refused to accept what his own counsel stated a day before regrading recognition of the HI. He said that his counsel had not informed him about the orders till very late. Infuriated, Justice Muralidhar said that it was “intriguing” that only the government did not know about the orders while the media knew about it. Justice Muralidhar then asked the officer to issue an amended clarification unequivocally mentioning that IHF was the only recognised body. To this, Srinivas expressed his reluctance. “If the Government of India is refusing to obey the court’s orders, we know how to deal with it. This is total defiance and must you remember, disobedience of court is punishable. If you don’t do it, HI election is not going to be conducted,” shot back Justice Muralidhar. Srinivas then sought some time to consult senior officials in the ministry regarding the possibility of a new clarification.

3 pm: Srinivas showed up again and contended that the ministry was not inclined to issue any other clarification. Justice Muralidhar then dictated his order. “It is legally untenable that there are two bodies for promoting hockey in India. There can also be no doubt that the ministry’s letter is not consistent with what was undertaken by them in the court on Tuesday. Moreover, they have not explained as to why HI did not figure in the list of 38 NSFs that was submitted before the Chief Justice in a different matter,” the court noted.

Indian Express

HC asks government to stay away from Hockey India election

Abhinav Garg

NEW DELHI: Unhappy that despite its previous orders, the Union Sports Ministry failed to set things in order in Indian Hockey, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday re-iterated that Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) is the only recognised body in the country.

Justice S Muralidhar said the IHF remains the only recognised body and wondered why the government had appointed an observer for elections to Hockey India, a private organisation and asked it to withdraw the same. The court also made HI's election schedule conditional on the government and HI issuing clarifications stating the correct legal position as per HC ruling, that only IHF is the recognised body.

HC had earlier quashed the government's notification for de-recognition of IHF and had hoped the sports ministry will "make a new beginning."

During the proceedings, the court pulled up the central government for not taking proper steps for removing confusion regarding the status of HI even after its judgment. "It seems that the government allowed holding of elections..why is the government supporting the Hockey India. It would create further confusion," the court quipped.

"If the government has not recognised you (HI), then why is it allowing you to conduct elections. The government should not be involved in the election of a private body," it noted.

On May 21 Justice Muralidhar had set aside the Centre's decision to de-recognise the IHF and the decision of Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) to de-affiliate the Federation.

The IHF had come to HC protesting against the decision of the ministry to grant provisional recognition to HI despite a clear HC ruling against it. The ministry had further issued HI a letter saying it had no objections to it holding elections. The IHF argued that once HC had made it clear by its last order that it was the only recognized body in hockey, the government had no business to issue such letters.

The Times of India

Hockey India is a FIH created mess

K. Arumugam

Once again Hockey India election is postponed.

We in India are not surprised at that.

If Indian hockey administration in limbo, and the FIH's brain child Hockey India is attempting to hold election as many times as Argentina scores against Dominican Republic, this is only a mess created by the FIH, which it seemingly does not know how to untangle.

How can an election take place where the candidates pick voters? This daylight robbery being attempted by Hockey India cannot sell in India.

I don't know why the FIH is closing its eyes, and is giving all the support to a organization that was secretly and fradulently formed, and without mandate?

In India, only two State Hockey Organizations own synthetic turf, one is Karnataka SHA and the other is Bombay SHA.

Both don't have vote.

What is this nonsense?

The only other SHA that have a ground of its own, though only grass, is Vidarbha SHA, and this also doesn't have a vote.

Then who has the vote?

One personal staff of IOA President Suresh Kalmadi has a vote; and it is clear this gentleman treats sports organizations as his personal properties.

It cannot go all the time

He might have done it with so many other sports with so many other times, but hockey is different where people are watchful.

Madras Hockey Association and Bombay Hockey Association, the two entities formed two decades before the FIH or the IHF was formed were left out of electoral college.

Hockey India is a fraud on Indian democratic traditions, which unfortunately has the tacit support of FIH.

Am really surprised at the total surrender of FIH superman Ondorza to Hockey India, all the more painful to know he went against the retired judge acting as Returning Officer instead giving certificate of character to one Mandher, who was appointed RO by the Hockey India coterie. Thankfully, the ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports blew this blatant bluff.

The issue at hand was simple. It was found wisdom to remove Gill and Party from the IHF in 2008 in the post Chile disaster scene. Once they have been removed, the IHF should have gone for election. Whoever wins, even it that meant the same set up -- it was not possible that time as the national mood was against KPS Gill -- they will only have the right to control hockey.

This routine thing was not allowed to happen by the vested interests, and they got willing FIH to play ball with them.

All noble principles (like one state one unit, merger of men and women SHAs) were brought into bear, with all bad intentions.

It appeared the key of the house was given to thief giving a mandate to keep the house safe!!

A global body need not have given affiliation to a body that was formed across the table, secretly and with fraud motives, ignoring the voters who were clearly constitutional bodies, clearly older than the IHF and the FIH themselves.

It is obvious every aggrieved body will go to court and stay your election.

No one has divine right to say somebody else is not existing. How can Hockey India says KSHA or BHA does not exist?

It’s time for conciliation: K.P.S. Gill

Indian Hockey Federation president K.P.S. Gill on Wednesday offered an olive branch to the IOA and Hockey India to sit together and find a solution to the hockey mess.

The Sports Ministry on Tuesday issued a statement that it would work to obtain co-operation of both the IHF and HI in the best interest of hockey in the country, and Mr. Gill felt all the parties should start working on this basis.

“I don’t want to go into a debate on any issue. There has been lot of mudslinging going on. It won’t help and only hockey will suffer. The most realistic way out now is to sit together and thrash out the issues,” Mr. Gill, who has never been shy of criticising both Indian Olympic Association and HI, told reporters at a press conference here.

“Cases have been pending in seven High Courts now. It is in a very bad shape. So, let us get together and if we do so I think we can thrash it out in a week,” he added confidently.

The Hindu

Kaushik threatens to move court to clear name in sex scandal

NEW DELHI: Former coach MK Kaushik on Monday threatened to take legal action against Hockey India, accusing the sports body of trying to put him in the dock in the sexual harassment case through manipulation.

Kaushik, who is at the centre of the unsavoury episode, questioned Hockey India's authority to recommend police and government action against him and objected to HI holding that Ranjitha Devi's complaints against him were "credible" without verifying the allegations.

He said since the five-member inquiry committee's report had only factual matters and no recommendations, HI could not recommend action against him.

"I object to Hockey India deciding not to use my services and recommending Delhi Police to take action against me. The inquiry committee had not at all given any recommendations and how can HI do this," he told reporters at a hurriedly-convened press conference.

"I object to HI secretary general Narinder Batra saying that Ranjitha Devi's written reply were credible and had specific charges. The report itself said there were no verification of the allegations. So it is contradictory, on one hand you are saying that her version was credible and at the same time they are not proved. How can it be possible?" he asked.

"I am saying again that all these charges against me are baseless and fabricated. I have sent a reply to the letter sent by HI to the sports ministry recommending action on me," he said while presenting his lawyers Mandira Mitra and Praveen Aggarwal to the media.

Mitra said his client will see the situation for a while and if necessary will go to court.

"It is premature to say whether we will go to court or not. If necessary we will go to court but first we are replying to the letter sent by Hockey India to the government. We have given this reply to HI interim president Vidya Stokes," she said.

In his letter submitted to HI president, Kaushik accused the federation of conspiring to malign him in the sport fraternity.

"... the management of Hockey India is conspiring against me to malign my stature in the sports fraternity and the society in general. Further, it shows that Hockey India is conducting this whole affair with a bias against me and concluding that I am guilty and as such this against the principal of natural justice," he said.

Kaushik also accused Batra of releasing the letter to the media on Saturday and said the general secretary was "grossly abusing his power".

"I would like to record my protest at the gross abuse of power committed by the incumbent secretary general Narinder Batra, who is seeking re-election for the same post in the upcoming elections, in releasing the contents of the letter along with documents to the media prior to its receipt by me," he said in his reply.

Kaushik said the letter is highly manipulative and demanded Hockey India to withdraw it.

"The tone and tenor of this statement makes it clear that the management of Hockey India is acting in a vindictive manner.

"I demand Hockey India to withdraw this statement with immediate effect as it shows malafide intention and the presence of a larger conspiracy against me," he said in his letter.

Kaushik also said that he would not have used videographer Basavraj with the women's team had he known he would indulge in unwanted activities.

"SAI has three videographers, Rajinder had been attached at Patiala, the second Nehal had gone for his family marriage so we had to use Basavraj's services. He was not my priority," he said.

"Moreover there is no connection between Basavraj taking pictures (of prostitutes) and I am being punished. Why am I being dragged into it?" he asked.

Earlier in the day, Sports Ministry decided to launch its own probe into the allegations of sexual harassment against Kaushik by handing the task to its internal committee.

The Times of India

Delhi police still waiting for HI letter

NEW DELHI: Four days after Hockey India (HI) said it has sent a letter to the Delhi police commissioner, Y S Dadwal, informing him about the alleged case of sexual harassment by the women's hockey coach MK Kaushik and requesting that "legal action" be taken against him, the Delhi police said they were yet to hear from HI on this issue.

"We have been told by the media that the letter has been sent to us. However, till date, we have not received the letter across all our units, including the Crime Against Women unit. Besides, no HI official has contacted us officially in this matter," said Rajan Bhagat, PRO, Delhi police.

Meanwhile, talking to TOI, Dharmendra Kumar, joint commissioner (New Delhi Range), said that merely receiving the letter was not enough to register a case. "We have to see the contents of the letter to ascertain what case can be made out of it," he said.

Sources in the police said it was too early to ascertain what sections might be imposed on the coach if he is actually booked. "HI is an independent organisation and their finding of credible evidence might not match our own parameters. Therefore, we will carry out our own preliminary enquiry before lodging a FIR," said a senior police officer.

The Times of India