Former India hockey team captain and Olympian Joaquim Carvalho has expressed delight over the Delhi High Court’s decision to place Hockey India under a three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) after observing that the federation violated the National Sports Code, and said this will allow the sport to be run without fear and any malpractice.
The Court’s ruling came on a petition filed by former India player Aslam Sher Khan, who had challenged Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra's appointment as life member of Hockey India.
The High Court held that HI's appointment of Batra as its life-member and Elena Norman as CEO were illegal and thus the administrative setup of Hockey India was erroneous or illegal.
Carvalho, 62, who also coached the men’s hockey team, felt the HC constituted committee, which will be headed by former Supreme Court judge AR Dave and will have former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi and ex-Indian hockey team captain Zafar Iqbal as members, will end the autocratic rule.
“It is good that hockey in the country will be run without any fear from any top-notch official and it will be free from autocratic rule and also from any chance of corruption and malpractice,” said Carvalho who represented India at the 1984 LA Olympics, 1986 World Cup, 1985 Asia Cup, and 1982 Asian Games.
Highlighting the issues plaguing the sport in the country, Carvalho said that under the current regime, few people are controlling the sports body and allowing illegal activities.
“Many state bodies are formed illegally and are not even registered. And secondly, you’ll find the same set of officials and there is no proper election being held. Same people nominate themselves and get elected. No one gets a say or is allowed to raise their opinion,” said Carvalho, who was also appointed by the government as an Observer and National Selector for Indian Hockey.
Carvalho said the current officials have broken all sports codes by making their own rules.
“How can you have a life member and life president when it is not mentioned in the sports code. And they have knocked off erstwhile members like Mumbai Hockey Association, Vidarbha Hockey Association and Hyderabad Hockey Association. All these are against the sports code,” he added.
The court’s decision has come as a relief for many in the Indian hockey fraternity and Carvalho felt the CoA will see that hockey is run in a fair way.
“They will put everything in the right place and see to it that hockey is run in a right way and in a democratic manner and elections are conducted in a fair way,” he concluded.