Indian Olympic Association (IOA) vice-president Sudhanshu Mittal has termed International Hockey Federation‘s (FIH) clean chit to their president Narinder Batra as ‘eyewash’ claiming his complaint was diverted to integrity unit which has no statutory provision to look into it. Also Read - Sports Ministry Moves Delhi High Court Seeking Restoration of Provisional Recognition to 57 NSFs
Mittal has accused Batra of breaching the FIH statues by holding the post of Hockey India (HI) president when he was elected the global governing body’s head in November 2016. Also Read - IOA Infighting Should End For The Good of Indian Sports: Rajeev Mehta
In response to Mittal’s complaint, FIH’s independent Integrity Unit chairman Snell on Friday said that the matter related to the complaint is “not sustained”. Also Read - IOA President Narinder Batra Appeals Officials And Members to Shun Infighting
However, Mittal says FIH CEO Thierry Weil is attempting to protect Batra.
“I understand the rush you had to issue this statement of the Integrity Officer for a complaint addressed to the Disciplinary Commissioner. Just because Mr (Wayne) Snell issues a statement, it does not make it right. The statement by the Integrity unit holds no power in the Statutes of the FIH. It was a good attempt for eyewash,” Mittal said in a mail addressed to on Saturday.
“I still insist that my complaint addressed to the FIH Disciplinary Commissioner be adjudicated in accordance with the statutes of the FIH. This would not be, I repeat it would not be the last forum for appeal of truth and justice in the matter,” he added.
Mittal accused Weil of diverting his complaint to protect the world hockey body’s president.
“At first, my complaint addressed to the FIH Disciplinary Commissioner was diverted by you to the FIH Integrity unit that has no statutory provisions to look into a complaint against the President. Without sending a formal communication regarding my complaint, Mr. Snell choose to issue a statement that further belief of manipulation to protect the FIH President,” he wrote.
“On 10th June, you diverted the complaint to whoever is favourable for a quick statement on the President. You confirmed the allegation I made regarding abuse of power by the President of FIH,” he added.
Batra, who also heads IOA, insists that there was no conflict of interest in his election as FIH chief as he had resigned from the post of HI president on November 25, 2016.
Mittal says his complaint wasn’t regarding Batra’s eligibility as FIH chief.
“There is no merit to the statement of Mr. Snell because I did not question the eligibility of Dr Batra as FIH President in 2016. My complaint was about the misrepresentation of facts in 2017 and thereafter, which is a violation of the then FIH Statutes,” he said.