Hockey India congratulated its president Narinder Batra, who has been elected as the new President of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) at the 45th FIH Congress in Dubai.
Batra, who was an Executive Board Member of FIH as well as the Vice-President of the Asian Hockey Federation, will replace outgoing FIH President Leandro Negre, for a four-year term at the helm.
The win was basis a largely unanimous decision, Dr Batra secured 68 votes out of 118 to edge past tough opponents in Australia’s Ken Read and Ireland’s David Balbirnie, the two other candidates for the FIH Presidency at the Congress.
This is the first time an Indian has been elected to head a global sports governing body of an Olympic sport. Batra will also be the first Indian to take on the role as FIH Chief.
Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary general Rajeev Mehta congratulated Batra for becoming the FIH chief.
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“I would like to congratulate my elder brother Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra for being elected as a President of FIH. He is the first Asian elected in the international body, his victory is result of his hard work, commitment and passion in the last few years towards sports.
“I have seen him working hard towards development of Indian hockey in the last five years and we are now getting results with our men’s and women’s teams winning various international tournaments. I wish him all the best for this new innings.”
Indian hockey team coach Roelant Oltmans and BCCI vice president C K Khanna also congratulated Batra.
“Congratulations Dr. Batra, President of FIH!!” Oltmans wrote on his twitter handle.
Khanna said, “He was my colleague at DDCA and I am delighted with this development. I wish him all the best for future.”