Aug 5, 2011

Can FIH afford to take tournaments out of India?

The compromise between Indian Hockey Federation and Hockey India has failed to impress FIH, the supreme hockey body of the world. And in their statement they expressed that it will not be appropriate to host tournaments in India. FIH executive board decided that it will not be possible or appropriate to host tournaments in India. This clearly indicates that FIH will not conduct Champions Trophy, Olympic Qualifiers (both men and women) and Junior World Cup (also both men and women). But the biggest question is can the world body afford to take tournaments out of India?

It is safe to assume that India is the cash-cow of world hockey. This can be evident from the capitation fee paid by Hockey India to conduct the World Cup. In Memorandum of Understanding signed between FIH and Indian Hockey Federation, the capitation pay was Rs. 2.5 crore INR. But Hockey India paid rs. 7.5 crore to the FIH which was Rs. 5 crore more. Incidentally the MoU between FIH and IHF was signed 7 years after FIH de-recognized IHF.

Looking at the money paid by Hockey India to FIH, it is clear the FIH only interest is raking the cash cow. If FIH wanted to do good, they could have shown interest in installing astro-turf in India when it was introduced. The only reason FIH has given hosting rights to India for the Champions Trophy, Olympic Qualifiers and Junior World Cup is to make money. FIH selected India as the host nation of Junior World Cup without even consulting Hockey India.

Taking tournaments out of India will hit FIH more than it will hit Indian Hockey (we still have WSH, which is bigger the Euro Hockey League) but FIH will lose its biggest cash cow and there is no other country which will give same benefits that Indian Hockey is giving. FIH needs to take measure here and decide about the future course of action. They allowed IHF to function for nearly 8 years after de-recognizing it, so why not allow both Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation to work together for two more years.

In simple words FIH cannot take the tournaments out from India, as it will hurt everyone hard, the fans, hockey fraternity and FIH. And in the current situation of economic problem, FIH cannot afford to lose one of the biggest source of income.

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