Hockey India [ Images ] received a shot in the arm after the International Hockey Federation (FIH) formally recognised the newly-formed body as its member and the sole governing body of the game, both men and women, in the country.
In a letter to Hockey India secretary Mohammad Aslam, dated June 14, FIH secretary-general Peter L Cohen said the FIH has recognised Hockey India as its member in place of Indian Hockey Confederation (IHC).
"All the formalities required by the FIH Congress for the transfer of membership have been fulfilled. I am pleased to inform you that Hockey India is now formally recognised by the FIH as a member of the FIH (in place of Indian Hockey Confederation) as the sole governing body for hockey, men and women, in India," Cohen wrote in the letter.
The FIH secretary also made it clear that there is no question of granting provisional recognition to Hockey India (HI) as the FIH Congress in Los Angeles in November last year had already approved the transfer of membership from IHC to HI.
"It is not necessary for FIH to grant provisional recognition to Hockey India because Hockey India is now a full member of the FIH.
"The Congress also unanimously approved the transfer of membership of Hockey India subject to the approval of their statutes," he said.
Cohen said recognition was formally approved by the FIH after receiving all the necessary documents regarding the formation of HI.
"You have provided FIH with a copy of the Constitution of Hockey India and you have provided me with a copy of the Certificate of Registration," he wrote in his letter to Aslam.
"The IOA also confirmed that Hockey India has been accepted as a member of the IOA and has been registered as the sole governing body for hockey, men and women, in India.
"The IOA has also advised FIH that the previous men's and women's associations are no longer members of the IOA," he added.
Interestingly, the FIH had earlier in the month granted provisional recognition to Hockey India and said they would give the formal stamp of approval only after getting confirmation that states associations, comprising men's and women's units, have been set up.
However, the present move is a complete turnaround from the apex body's previous stand.
But Hockey India secretary Aslam begged to differ and said the FIH granted them formal recognition only after they were satisfied with paper works of the formation.
"It's not that they (FIH) had earlier given HI provisional recognition, they had already approved the transfer of power from IHC to HI", he said.
"They had sent a letter to the Indian Olympic [ Images ] Association asking it whether it had disaffiliated the Indian Hockey Federation, Indian Women's Hockey Federation and the IHC as its members and a week back we have informed them that we did, which cleared all doubts," Aslam said.
"We've given them all certificates and reasons and when they got the things on record, they gave us recognition.
"They (FIH) don't recognise IHC, IHF and IWHF, so they need someone to deal with and so they've got us to form," he added.
Aslam reiterated that free and democratic elections of Hockey India within the stipulated six months time frame still remains a priority.
"The elections tops our agenda, it's a part and parcel of it and I am confident we will conduct the elections much before the six months time," he said.