Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during the unveiling of the Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 logo at the Kalinga hockey stadium in Bhubaneswar. | Photo Credit: The Hindu
The men’s hockey World Cup 2023 is all set to be safe and on track to be hosted by India as scheduled after a meeting between the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The meeting discussed, among other things, the redrafting of the Hockey India constitution in accordance with both the FIH and the National Sports Code and fresh elections to the federation. The meeting was attended by FIH acting president Seif Ahmed, CEO Thierry Weil and CoA members — Justice (retd) Anil R Dave, S.Y. Quraishi and Zafar Iqbal.
While the Delhi High Court-ordered first draft of the modified constitution was submitted on Wednesday, the final draft will be delivered in the next ten days. The Hockey India election process has also been mutually decided to be completed by October 9, a joint statement by both parties announced.
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In contrast to the recent FIFA ban on the AIFF for “undue influence from third parties”, the FIH officials made it clear that they respected any legal orders. “We don’t consider the court as a third party and respect the judiciary. We believe that the order of a court is not an interference,” Ahmed said.
Further confirming that the World Cup would continue as scheduled, the CoA and FIH members also appreciated Odisha government’s efforts for the development of infrastructure and a site visit to Rourkela by the FIH and CoA is planned for September 7 followed by the official draw for the tournament in Bhubaneswar on September 8.
“We are thankful for this visit by the FIH delegation. The interaction was extremely positive and encouraging. We have been able to conclude and agree on some important next steps to ensure the continued smooth functioning of hockey in India keeping in mind the foremost importance of the spirit of the sport and best interest of our athletes,” Justice Dave said.
As reported by The Hindu, the FIH delegation had met Sports Secretary Sujata Chaturvedi on Tuesday and Odisha Sports Commissioner-Cum-Secretary R. Vineel Krishna. The 2023 World Cup is to be jointly hosted by Bhubaneswar-Rourkela from January 13-29.
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