The KPS Gill-led Indian Hockey Federation is all set to merge with the Indian Women's Hockey Federation on Thursday to strengthen its claim to being the sole representative body for the sport in the country.
Re-recognised by the sports ministry, the IHF is trying to get approval from the International Hockey Federation (FIH), which considers Hockey India [ Images ] as sole representative for the sport in India.
One of the pre-requisites for getting FIH recognition is having a single body for men and women. IHF and IWHF will conform this norm on Thursday at a meting in Delhi [ Images ].
"We have a meeting tomorrow and we are going to merge as per the government guidelines. We have completed the formalities. We have requested for a government observer and, hopefully, we will get one for tomorrow," IWHF secretary Amrit Bose said.
At present, there is confusion over which body is the official representative of hockey in India, as both Hockey India and the IHF have staked claim.
While the IHF, which has promised to comply with the sports ministry's age and tenure-limitation guidelines, has the government's backing, Hockey India enjoys the FIH's support.
Peeved by the FIH's stand to recognise Hockey India, the sports ministry has stated that Hockey India had no right to select teams as it is a "private body" and the IHF should be given time to be fully compliant with world governing body's guidelines.
The ministry also asked the FIH not to deal with HI any more, saying it has lost its national character, and allow the IOA or the Sports Authority of India to field the Indian team for international events till the issue is resolved.