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Narinder Batra named as member of FIH Competitions Committee for the second consecutive term

FILE PHOTO: Narinder Batra

It was another feather in the administrative hat of Narinder Batra. The Hockey India secretary general has been appointed as a member of the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) Competitions Committee for the year 2013-14.

It is pertinent to point out that Batra has been named a member of the same committee for the second consecutive term. The change of personnel in the FIH’s Competitions Committee was given the seal of approval at the recent FIH executive board meeting held in Lausanne.

International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre thanked all the new committee members for their dedication towards hockey as well as the outgoing committee members for their services to the sport of hockey.

The role of FIH’s Competitions Committee is considered vital in the spreading the game across the globe as well as enhancing the popularity of the sport.

Ken Read of Australia is the chairman of the FIH’s Competitions Committee. Besides Batra, the Competitions Committee has ten other members including Ken Read.

Other members of the 11-member Competitions Committee are Michael Green (Germany), Marelize de Klerk (South Africa), Mathavan Devadas (Singapore), Wiert Doyer (Netherlands), Sarah Garnett (New Zealand), Alberto Budeisky (Argentina), Heino Knuf (Germany), Asif Bajwa (Pakistan), Alberto de Frutos (Spain).

Batra is also the vice president of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF).

Meanwhile, Batra faced some controversy when some former Olympians vehemently protested the inclusion of his name in the 12-member Working Group constituted by the sports ministry for re-drafting the National Sports Development Bill.

The 12-member Working Group was formed under the chairmanship of Justice Mukul Mudgal to prepare a revised draft of the bill, which was initially drafted in 2011, in a bid to ring in transparency and good governance in the various National Sports Federations.

It is learnt that as many as 22 Olympians including the likes of Mohammad Shahid and Vasudevan Bhaskaran have written a letter to Sports Minister Jitendra Singh, airing their concerns about the nomination of Batra in the Working Group committee.

The grouse against Batra is that Hockey India elections was held on August 5, 2010 in violation of the age and tenure clause of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports order dated May 1, 2010, which facilitated the election of 82 years old, Vidya Stokes as its first president, subsequent to which HI was de-recognised on August 5 2010.

According to the Olympians, Batra has no moral right to be in the 12-member Working Group committee.

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