Hope for hockey as HI, IHF agree to merge

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Indian Hockey team
New Delhi, Jul 25: After months of speculations and verbal fights, Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation have agreed to merge and function as a singular body. It can be recalled that the sports ministry had given them the time till Jul 25 to agree to merge or else face the consequences.

According to reports the decision was arrives at after a meeting between the two parties at the Ministry's headquarters here.

It can be recalled that the Government of India had issued an ultimatum to Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation to merge by Jul 25, failing which the sports ministry will have the onus of acting as it wished and inform the Supreme Court about it.

Sports minister Ajay Maken had said, "I will not wait beyond July 25. We have called for a meeting with HI and IHF on July 25. A decision would certainly come out by then."

He added, "We are calling the two bodies to give it a last try on merger but this will be the last meeting. If nothing comes out of it, then we will take a decision on our own and inform the Supreme Court."

When enquired as to why did the last merger talks fail, the sports minster said, "I was really hopeful that the merger would be successful. Unfortunately, it seems that inflated egos have taken over the national interest and the national game."

It can be recalled that last week, despite a series of meetings in the presence of sports ministry officials, the merger talks between the HI and the IHF failed to arrive at any conclusion.

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