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FIH says World Series Hockey players could face international bans

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The FIH has issued the following statement on Indian World Series Hockey: 

On January 24, the FIH sent a letter to all its member national associations regarding a reported new hockey league in India. Below is the letter in which the FIH explains its stance in regards to the proposed World Series of Hockey.

Major newspapers in India have reported on a new Indian hockey league, namely World Series of Hockey (WSH), proposed as a joint venture between the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Nimbus, a sports marketing agency. The IHF was a member of the Indian Hockey Confederation (IHC). The IHC’s membership of the FIH was withdrawn some 2 years ago for failure to comply with the FIH Statutes. Subsequently, Hockey India (HI) was formed and was formally admitted as a member of the FIH at the 2008 Congress. HI is now the only body governing hockey in India recognised by the FIH and the Indian Olympic Association.

 

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

 

FIH states the following:

 

  • FIH does not recognize the WSH.  
  • FIH notes that matches in the WSH may conflict with FIH major events, which may compromise an athlete’s participation in their national team program.
  • Any player and any NA that participates in the WSH may render that player and NA ineligible to participate in any FIH tournament, including Olympic Qualifying tournaments and the Olympic Games.
  • No player and no NA should accept any involvement in the WSH without first consulting the CEO of FIH, Kelly Fairweather.

 

FIH also advises that we have been working with Hockey India for some time (several months before the announcement of the WSH) to establish a professional league in India. This new league will carry the endorsement of the FIH and HI. FIH expects to make a further announcement after the meeting of the Executive Board to be held in the first week of March, 2011.