Hockey India on Friday announced that Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad is stepping down as its president due to personal commitments. This announcement comes two days after Sports Ministry asked Mushtaque to resign on grounds that his election in 2018 was in violation of national sports code’s tenure guidelines.Also Read - Indian Hockey Team Was Hugely Motivated Before Bronze-Medal Match: Simranjeet Singh

“Hockey India Executive Board held an emergent meeting today and named Manipur’s Gyannendro Nigombam as the Officiating President of Hockey India,” HI said in a statement. “This was following the resignation letter of Mod Mushtaque Ahmed received by Hockey India on July 7 which cited personal and family commitments as the reasons.” Also Read - Hockey India Can't Unilaterally Pull out of CWG, Must Consult With Government: Anurag Thakur

HI Executive Board named Manipur’s Gyanendro Nigombam as the officiating president in Ahmed’s place. Also Read - Nothing is Certain But Want to Stay With This Team Till Paris Olympics: PR Sreejesh

Ningombam has for several years been associated with Manipur Hockey and has been instrumental in supporting talented players and the development of the sport at the grassroots level. He also served as the Editor of Meeyam, an evening daily newspaper in Manipur. Ningombam has earlier served Manipur Hockey as its Chief Executive Officer from 2009 to 2014 pursuant to which he was elected as Vice President of Manipur Hockey from 2014 – 2018.

In a July 6 letter addressed to HI Secretary General Rajinder Singh, the Ministry asked the federation “to conduct fresh election for the post of president” by September 30 for the remaining term, that is, “upto 30.09.2022…”.

“…the matter has been examined…and it has been observed that Mushtaque Ahmed had earlier served as Treasurer in Hockey India from 2010-2014 and secretary general from 2014-2018. The instant term 2018-2022 of Mushtaque as president is his third consecutive term as office-bearer in HI,” the letter stated.

Under the Sports Code (of 2011), office-bearers of an NSF can have only two consecutive terms of four years each. But after later amendments, a president can hold office for three terms.

The election of Ahmad as HI president in 2018 has been a matter of controversy between the NSF and the ministry.

With PTI Inputs