The infighting within the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has reached the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with vice president Sudhanshu Mittal writing to the Olympic world governing body, alleging that the appointment of IOA president Narinder Batra as president of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) was illegal.
Mittal also alleged in the letter that Batra had given ‘false declarations to the IOA’ while running for the post of president of India’s National Olympic Committee.
“This complaint is being made against Mr. Narendra Batra, President of the FIH and member of the International Olympic Committee, for giving false declarations and information regarding his association with Hockey India (NSF for Hockey in India) to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) as well as to the Indian Olympic Association (National OC in India),” Mittal wrote in the letter that was sent on Saturday.
Mittal points 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. The individual shall also not accept any position for the duration that they hold the post of president of FIH.
“By the above reading of the Article 7.2 of the FIH Statute, it is very clear that Mr. Narender Batra could not simultaneously be the President of the FIH and hold any executive office or other position with Hockey India. For this very reason Mr. Narender Batra stepped down as the President of Hockey India in December 2016 and did not hold any post in Hockey India. Hence Mr. Narender Batra held no executive post in Hockey India w.e.f from December 2016 so that he could take charge as the President, FIH as per the statute of FIH,” Mittal said.
Mittal then points out that Batra’s name was pushed by Hockey India in November 2017 as a member of its board.
“The Constitution of the IOA is very clear, that the representatives nominated by each unit of the IOA like Hockey India, must be members of the executive committee of such Unit. Mr. Narendra Batra was a representative on behalf of Hockey India in the December 2017 elections of the IOA and voted as a representative on behalf of Hockey India,” said Mittal.
“Since he had already resigned from any office bearer’s post with Hockey India in order to comply with the FIH Statute, there is no possible way that he could be in the executive committee of Hockey India, unless Mr. Narender Batra has given false declarations and information to the FIH and to everyone else that he has resigned from Hockey India.”
Batra in a letter to IOA’s Executive Committee and IOA members said that he will formally respond to the allegations once he returns to office.
“As you all are aware that I am in Home Quarantine till June 20th, 2020 due to 7 positive Covid 19 cases in my house and if all being well and it does not get extended, then I may start going to my office from 22nd/23rd June, said Batra.
“This complaint now being filed by Mr. Sudhanshu Mittal was earlier filed in similar language against me by Ms Mahajan, President of All India Tennis Association during my election as President of IOA in 2017 before the 3 Hon’ble Judges who formed the Election Commission and I had replied then also. After the election of IOA got over, my reply along with other documents was given to Secretary General IOA by the Election Commission for IOA record.
“I will be giving reply for issues raised by Mr Sudhanshu Mittal in his 6th June email and it will be given on my return back to my office.”