The International Hockey Federation has backed Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra, who has been involved in a feud with (IOA) Vice President Sudhanshu Mittal and added that they will not be taking any action against the FIH chief.
Mittal has claimed that there had been “gross violations” in the process which led to Batra being elected IOA President in December 2017. He also claimed that Batra was not eligible to contest the vote for the IOA President or the election for the top job at the FIH.
“In compliance with the applicable FIH procedure, this complaint was forwarded to the independent FIH Integrity Unit (FIU), which today decided that it will not be taking any action regarding FIH President Dr Batra in relation to this matter on the basis that the matter is not sustained,” FIH independent Integrity Unit Chairman Wayne Snell said in a statement.
“Indeed, according to the FIH Statutes at the time, there was no requirement for Dr Batra to change his relationship with Hockey India after his election as FIH President in November 2016. He therefore committed no breach of the procedure or the FIH Statutes,” he added.
On June 8, he wrote to FIH Disciplinary Commissioner Gordon Nurse, wherein he questioned the eligibility of Batra as FIH President. In his complaint to Nurse, Mittal pointed to Article 7.2 of the FIH which says that the president once elected shall within 30 days retire from any official post they hold within any national or continental hockey bodies.
Mittal had also called on the Ethics Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban Batra from “Hockey and the Olympic Movement”.
But Batra has denied any wrongdoing. He has written to both FIH CEO Thierry Weil and IOC President Thomas Bach, refuting the allegations made by Mittal and said that the IOA Vice President was trying to malign his image and wants to be IOA chief in 2021.