FIH bars players, National Associations from WSH

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New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) In a move which could derail theambitious plan of the Indian Hockey Federation to organise aWorld Series of Hockey in the country, the FIH has threatenedto bar players and National Associations from participating inOlympic Games, if they associate themselves with the league.

IHF in collaboration with Nimbus India, a sportsmarketing agency, had launched the WSH in December 2010 inpresence of Indian hockey team players Sandeep Singh, SardaraSingh, Adrian D''Souza, Dhananjay Mahadik and Gurjinder Singh.

A few international players were also reported to beinterested in becoming a part of the league.

FIH, the world governing body of the game, has written aletter to all the National Associations (NAs) affiliated toit, stating that it does not recognise any such league and"players and NAs will be rendered inelgibile to partipiate inthe Olympic qualifying tournaments and the Games" if theybecome a part of WSH.

FIH said it is working with Hockey India, the onlyrecognised body to govern the game in the country, for quitesome time to establish a professional league in the country.

"FIH has received reports from some national associations(NAs) that some of their players have been approached fromagencies supposing to represent franchises that willparticipate in the new league.

"FIH states that it does not recognize the WSH. FIH notesthat matches in the WSH may conflict with FIH major events,which may compromise an athlete''s participation in theirnational team program.

"No player and no NA should accept any involvement in theWSH without first consulting the CEO of FIH, KellyFairweather," the letter read.

FIH also said the their own league "will carry theendorsement of the FIH and HI" and is expected to make afurther announcement after the meeting of the Executive Boardto be held in the first week of March, 2011.

Nimbus Sport and IHF have entered into a 15-yearagreement to conduct the annual league spread over 10 citiesin India and the first edition is expected to take place laterthis year after the Champions Trophy.

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