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FIH observer to attend HI meeting

January 10, 2010 19:45 IST

The FIH vice president Antonio von Ondarza will be present in an observer's capacity as Hockey India goes into a huddle on Monday to sort out its affiliation mess and take stock of the government guidelines before finalising its election date.

HI India President A K Mattoo said that the federation has requested Ondarza, also the International Hockey Federation-appointed observer for the polls, to come down to New Delhi to discuss all pending issues that are delaying the election process.

"The FIH observer will come to Delhi tomorrow. We have requested him to discuss the recent government directives and matters which are creating problems in conducting the elections," Mattoo said on Sunday.

"We will discuss the affiliation issues as well and come out with a solution by day after tomorrow.

"We will also discuss with Ondarza the minimum principles listed by the government to be followed before the elections," he said.

Mattoo confirmed that the much-awaited January 29 elections have been postponed but assured that it would be conducted well before the World Cup to be held in New Delhi from February 28-March 13.

"I hope by day after tomorrow, we will come out with the notice for the general body meeting. But I assure you that the elections will not be deferred by more than 2-3 days," Matoo said.

"Had it been left to me only, I would have given you a date right now. But there are other agencies which are also involved in the process and we have to go along on all decisions," Mattoo said.

HI elections were slated for January 29 but it got deferred after the interim national body failed to issue a 21-day notice, necessary to be given before the poll date as per its constitution, due to the pending affiliation matters.

To further compound their problems, the Sports Ministry had recently sent a letter to the FIH as well as Hockey India, spelling out the critical minimum principles, which includes the affiliations issues, appointment of an independent returning officer among others, to be in place before the polls.

Government-appointed HI election observer S K Mendiratta also said that a clearer picture for the poll date would emerge only after the federation's meeting on Monday.

"The January 29 deadline is now irrelevant. They (HI officials) are having an internal meeting tomorrow to finalise everything, most importantly the affiliation issues of Delhi, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh," Mendiratta said.

"Let us see what happens tomorrow. They told me that they will come out with a solution tomorrow. Once they inform me about the developments of tomorrow's meeting, then only I can come to any conclusion," he added.

I also tried to revolt: Pillay

Terming the revolt by the national hockey players a "right move", former Olympian Dhanraj Pillay on Sunday revealed that he had also tried to stand up against the authorities but could not gather enough support.

"Whatever has happened is right. The revolt came late but was a right move. If the hockey administrators can spend lakhs over a foreign coach, why can't the Indian players get their dues cleared?" Pillay said.

"I had tried to revolt against the administrators during my playing days but could not get enough support," he added.

The Indian players on Friday boycotted the ongoing World Cup preparatory camp in Pune for an indefinite period in protest against non-payment of their dues.

The dispute, however, was resolved on Saturday after a marathon meeting between six senior members of the national team and the top Hockey India officials, in Mumbai.

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