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April 21, 2021

FIH decides to hold Statutory Congress online

Sports

April 21, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has decided to hold the 47th FIH Statutory Congress online on May 22 due to the latest Covid-19 situation and unprecedented hike in coronavirus cases in India.

After a thorough analysis, the FIH’s Executive Board (EB) recently decided to give the possibility to each national association’s delegate to decide whether they would attend the FIH Statutory Congress either onsite — in Delhi, India — or via an online platform.

However, considering the latest information available on current status of the Covid-19 pandemic, the EB has now decided, upon proposal from FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, to review its previous decision and instead opt for a virtual Congress only, on the same date.

“Even though the FIH Congress usually is a wonderful opportunity for the global hockey community members to meet in person, it has always been very clear for FIH that the first of the priorities should be the safety and health of all Congress delegates and their families,” the FIH in its latest communique says.

The revival of hockey ties between two historic rivals of the game — Pakistan and India — was on the cards as Pakistan Hockey Federation’s (PHF) top officials were expected to take up the possibilities on the sidelines of the congress.

PHF president Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar and secretary Asif Bajwa had already applied for an Indian visa with main aim to discuss the possibilities of reviving hockey relations between the two countries.

“Yes, both were planning to attend the FIH meeting in New Delhi. Both have already applied for Indian visas and were hopeful of initiating talks. On the sidelines of the FIH meeting in India, the PHF officials were planning to hold meetings with the Indian hockey officials aiming at revival of bilateral hockey ties between the two countries,” the source said.

Only a couple of decades back both Pakistan and India were regularly playing hockey series on a home and away basis.

It is believed that now the option of even taking the series between the two countries offshore could also be discussed in coming meetings to be held outside India.

“Though the focus would be to revive the hockey series on the pattern both countries used to follow two decades back, the option of taking it offshore could not be ruled out. What matters the most is revival of hockey ties between arch-rivals for the benefit and entertainment of the game followers on either side of the border.

The FIH Executive meeting will now elect FIH president and four positions on the Executive Board through virtual meetings.

For all delegates, attending onsite or virtually, the voting process will be done exclusively via an online platform (e-voting).