Indian sports administrator Narinder Batra’s term as FIH President was on Friday extended till the world body’s next Congress, which was postponed to May next year due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.Also Read - Tokyo Olympics 2020: Norway's Karsten Warholm Wins Men's 400m Hurdles With New World Record
The Congress was scheduled to begin in New Delhi on October 28, later this year. Also Read - Andhra Pradesh Announces Rs 30L Cash Reward to PV Sindhu
The decision to postpone the Congress was taken at an online meeting of the FIH Executive Board. Also Read - Shah Rukh Khan, 'Ex-Coach of Indian Women's Hockey Team', Demands Gold at Olympics
“The exact date will be confirmed as soon as possible,” the FIH said in a statement.
The postponement means the tenures of all FIH current office-bearers, have been extended until next year’s Congress.
“Consequently, the current terms of the FIH President and of the EB members which were due to end in October 2020 have been prolonged until the upcoming Congress in May 2021 and the subsequent terms for these positions will be shortened accordingly (mid-2021 to 2024) on an exceptional basis,” the world body said.
Besides Batra, the tenures of women EB members — Danae Andrada (URU), Hazel Kennedy (ZAM); men EB members — Erik Cornelissen (NED) and Tayyab Ikram (MAC) have got extensions.
The FIH had pre-informed all 137 National Associations in April about a potential change of dates for the Congress.
“This decision, made due to the current uncertainties following the global COVID-19 pandemic, is based on Art. 12.1 of the FIH Statutes, covering cases of force majeure.,” the FIH stated.
“Despite the current challenging times for most organisations, FIH has kept working hard to pursue its mission of developing hockey worldwide. I’m looking forward to the numerous tournaments and competitions ahead of us, which we are preparing with full dedication and passion with all National Associations involved,” FIH president Batra said.
“I am also very pleased with the success of the online courses which FIH is delivering; this is great for the future of our sport. It is encouraging as well to see that hockey has resumed in some countries, of course with protective measures for the participants’ welfare.