New Delhi, July 25: India's two warring field hockey bodies have agreed to a temporary truce and will jointly run the sport until the end of next year.
The country's sports ministry said in a statement Monday that the federations would form a joint executive board, which will select national teams as well as organize tournaments and camps.
Ruling body HI was formed by the Indian Olympic Association in 2008 following IHF's suspension because of bribery allegations. HI was also recognized by the sport's world governing body, but the IHF's status was restored by an Indian court last year.
“The IHF and HI shall continue to be separate legal entities under the proposed arrangement but this would not prevent them from exploring the possibility of forming a confederation or opting for amalgamation at a later date based on mutual consent,” the statement said.
The two bodies had been set a Monday deadline by sports minister Ajay Maken after several meetings in the past few months had failed to bring any agreement.
The arrangement comes at a crucial time with eight-time Olympic champion India yet to qualify for the 2012 London Games. The country is also due to host the prestigious Champions Trophy in New Delhi from Dec. 1-11.
India, once the undisputed champion in field hockey, has been struggling for several years now. The last Olympic gold medal for the men's team was at the boycott-affected Moscow Games in 1980, while its last World Cup success was in 1975.
Since then, the team has failed to reach the semifinal stage at seven Olympics or World Cups and missed out on qualifying all together for the 2008 Beijing Games. AP