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Merger hits roadblock, IHF rejects it in current form

New Delhi: The reconciliation efforts between Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation on Friday suffered a setback with the IHF rejecting the merger proposal in its current form.

IHF`s former chief and current chief advisor K P S Gill said the provisions of the merger proposal were tilted in favour of HI and his federation will agree to a unified body on its own terms.

"IHF will accept the merger proposal if it is reasonable.

In our reply to the government we have said that we want IHF to be reconstituted and HI should be merged into IHF," Gill told reporters at a press conference here.

"In our reply we have also said that the 2-3 units which have left IHF abruptly and joined HI should come back to IHF," he said in the presence of IHF secretary Ashok Mathur and former Indian Women`s Hockey Federation secretary Amrit Bose.

Gill`s statement came after IHF president R K Shetty had said that his federation has "in principle" agreed to the merger proposal.

The Ministry had proposed a merger plan between the two warring bodies and had asked both HI and IHF to furnish their views on it, while also warning of stern action against them if they fail to do so.

While HI had readily agreed to most of the ministry recommendations, the IHF today said that it will accept the proposal on its own terms.

Gill said IHF will not entertain any changes made by HI in the running of the game after its suspension by the IOA in 2008.

"We don`t accept any steps taken after the suspension of IHF," he said.

He said that the ministry`s proposal was not balanced and was tilted in favour of HI.

"The proposal of the ministry has 10 points from the document which (HI secretary) Narinder Batra had presented before (IHF president) R K Shetty during a meeting. The ministry`s proposal is more or less similar to Batra`s documents, which we have already rejected," Gill said.

Alleging that HI and International Hockey Federation (FIH) were involved in huge financial irregularities during the conduct of last year`s World Cup, Gill said there is no place for corrupt administrators in the new unified body.

"HI was formed by seven persons for their vested interests. How can we merge with people of these nature? We don`t want any corrupt people or conspirators in the unified body.

"People who put their heads together to keep IHF out of hockey cannot be accepted as a part of IHF. Our stand is that those who have real interest in hockey should come together," the former top cop said.

Gill also came hard on the sports ministry and alleged that it worked hands in glove with HI to keep IHF out of the game.

"You can`t threaten a person of death penalty when you have already passed the order," he said about the ministry`s warning of stern action.

"The government in the last 3-4 years have gone out of their way to harass IHF and earn publicity for them."

"Till now the accounts of the World Cup remain undisclosed which is suspicious. According to MoU of the World Cup, it was decided that from the profits a hockey development fund will be created and spent in the country under FIH`s supervision. But till now no such fund has been created," Gill claimed.

"All these facts have been brought to the notice of the government time and again but no action was taken," he said.

When reminded that the world body recognises HI and not IHF and it would be difficult for his organisation to hold the upcoming international events — Champions Trophy and Olympic qualifiers, Gill said, "There is hockey beyond Olympics and World Cup.

"But the situation has changed now and it will change more in the future."

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