It is Time for a Change at the Top
The Reverse Stick       Thursday July 13 2017

Last week in our editorial I wrote of my sincere hope that Hockey authorities in both India and Pakistan could stand above the troubles that surround the relationship between the two countries. Recent events however make that possibility even more remote. And unfortunately those events also make the position of the current President of the FIH untenable.


The actions and statements from the President show most starkly that he is unable to separate the private and past from the public and present. His role as the ‘current’ President of the FIH has been subverted by his public statements as the ‘former’ head of Hockey India. It is staggering to think that a man with his experience would allow his personal feelings to override the responsibilities as the head of a global sporting body. Make no mistake, this is not a one off slip of the tongue, but a long established narrative.


His comments are the antithesis of the vision the FIH has outlined as the ‘Hockey Revolution’. His inability to separate his personal political feelings from his duties to the global Hockey family damages the good will between nations that is so desperately needed to overcome the obstacles placed in front of the game.


To allow our great game to be used to make political statements also calls into question the role of the CEO of the FIH. Our game does not need to be dragged into petty arguments between nations that cost real people their real lives. What was the FIH thinking when it allowed a major international Hockey tournament to be used as a platform for political propaganda? Our game should be a vehicle for dousing the flames between nations, not fanning them.


FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra has issued personal apologies via formal letters and follow up phone calls to several nations and the FIH Executive Board in relation to posting inappropriate comments on his personal Facebook page. Well, I haven’t got my letter and the phone still hasn’t rung, so I guess we are left waiting on a public apology to all within the game. The integrity of our sport demands it.



 Please abide by our terms for this comments thread available HERE