Field hockey’s world governing body said Monday it will only sanction a new professional league in India if the two warring factions in the country resolve their differences.
Hockey India took over from the Indian Hockey Federation as the national ruling body,but the IHF has organized an eight-team league called the World Series Hockey. The league is due to start Wednesday but has yet to receive official acknowledgment.
FIH president Leandro Negre was in talks with both bodies on the sidelines of an Olympic qualifying tournament during the past week but failed to work out a compromise. We’re acting as a mediator between HI and IHF,” Negre said. We were very close to reaching a solution but there are small disputes which need to be sorted out,and so we’ve given both the parties one month’s time to come together. said Negre. He further added, We’re not against the concept of WSH. There is need for a strong professional league in India,but we can only sanction tournaments organized by HI as FIH doesn’t recognize IHF. Until an agreement is reached,WSH remains an unsanctioned event for us.”
High-profile players from India and other countries have signed up with WSH despite Negre having previously issued warnings that they will be barred from sanctioned events if they take part.
Rajpal Singh,Sardara Singh,Arjun Halappa and Adrian D’Souza are some of the prominent Indian players to have joined,while the foreigners include Rehan Butt of Pakistan,Brent Livermore of Australia,Lucas Vila of Argentina and Rodrigo Garza of Spain.
Foreign coaches like Jose Brasa of Spain and Roelant Oeltmans of the Netherlands have also signed up for WSH.