Narinder Batra becomes first Indian in history to be elected as President of International Hockey Fedeeration
Hockey India President Narinder Batra has been elected as the new President of Federation of International Hockey (FIH) and is the first Indian in history to do so. Batra, who was up against David Balbirnie from Ireland and Ken Read from Australia, got 68 votes, beating both his opponents quite comfortably.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) Congress was conducted in Dubai from November 10th to November 12th and saw the attendance of important hockey officials from all over the world. The authorities looking over the elections had introduced several new principles of behavior and standards to monitor candidates on the basis of parameters like character, credibility and conflict of interest.
Batra was up against David Balbirnie from Ireland and Ken Read from Australia, who provided him with stiff competition. Voting for the election of the new FIH President was held through an electronic process, during which more than 110 member nations voted through tablet devices. The winner required to get absolute majority (more than 50 percent of the votes) to win the election.
A month back, Batra had spoken to Sportskeeda about his ambitions as a hockey administrator and how he would want to popularize the game even more across the globe. “I love the game of hockey and want to spread it across the world. I want to see 30 countries, for both men and women, play at the same level. At the moment, we have top six or seven, following which there is a group of 4-5 teams and then the level goes down drastically. I do not want that to happen and want to see the Olympics being contested with a lot more vigor,” Batra said.
“Europe and Oceania are doing really well at the moment but Africa, Asia and the Americas still need a lot of improvement. Countries like United States of America, South Korea, China, Japan and Malaysia are potentially great markets for hockey and we need to make the game popular in these regions,” he added.