Monday, August 15, 2022

Former Australian player calls for world hockey president removal

Terry Walsh, the former Australian great turned coach, has launched a petition calling for Narinder Batra to be removed as world hockey president.

Walsh, 68, set up the petition, entitled “For the good of hockey”, ahead of the FIH’s executive board meeting in Terrassa, Spain. The FIH confirmed to THP that Batra has tested positive for Covid and will join the meeting online due to quarantine.

“Following the recent findings in the High Court of Delhi against FIH President Narinder Batra, we the undersigned believe that his position as head of the sport of international Hockey is now untenable,” Walsh wrote.

A decision in May by the Delhi High Court placed Hockey India under a Committee of Administrators after the federation violated the National Sports Code.

It followed a petition filed by Aslam Sher Khan, a former India hockey player, who had challenged Batra’s appointment as life member of HI.

“Unfortunately, Mr Batra is not alone,” continued Walsh. “The FIH board is made up of individuals who have failed to relinquish their roles with national associations once elected which makes it hard for they themselves to be able to act with a clear conscience.”

Walsh is now petitioning the board demanding the removal of the current president “effective immediately.”

The petition also called for the FIH financial accounts for 2019-2021 to be made available for national associations.

The FIH has previously told THP that accounts won’t be posted until given the green light at the next congress.

“Transparency and good governance are essential if the sport is to survive in this highly competitive environment,” added Walsh.

Walsh scored 70 goals for Australia in 175 appearances, the last of which came against Germany at the 1986 World Cup in London. He later coached the Kookaburras, Netherlands and India.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Yes Terry Walsh is a highly regarded former Australian player, but surely the more pertinent issue is that he’s a former coach of the Indian national team?

  2. The petition that calls for the FIH financial accounts for 2019-2021 to be made available for national associations is a good one and I don’t think anyone will have an argument with that.

    The petition for removal of the FIH president is problematic. It is obvious that Mr Batra has run foul of the national sports code of India and has received an adverse ruling from the high. That has forced him to relinquish his position as IOC chief.

    However, Mr Batra won the election of the FIH chief on the basis of votes of national associations all around the world. This was a fair vote and there was no litigation afterwards to challenge this election. This vote had nothing to do with India’s domestic sports code.

    To ask Mr Batra to resign is to undo a free and fair electoral process.

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