Mumbai: The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), which is yet to accept the Sports Ministry's merger proposal with Hockey India, has asked for a seven-member panel to decide on the affiliation of state units within 6-9 months.

In the interim, the IHF has suggested that HI, recognized by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), be given the task of fielding the India team in international tournaments while allowing it the permission to hold all domestic tournaments as well as the proposed World Series Hockey League.

In its June 27 reply to the ministry's merger proposal, IHF secretary Ashok Mathur has said that to end the controversy "the basic problem that needs to be resolved is with regard to recognition and membership of State Units in National Sports Federations (NSF)."

"It is first to be decided as to which state unit/body is the genuine State Association which is to be a member of NSF," the IHF secretary has said in his reply.

Stating further that HI is "nothing but a creation of Indian Olympic Association in collusion with FIH," Mathur has demanded a seven-member panel to be constituted for resolving the contentious issue of state units.

"To suggest that there should be 33 or 34 members in the NSF has no basis, the reason being IHF has 40 state units as its members plus 12-13 Associate Members, who do not have voting rights. Similarly HI claims to have 32 State Units as its members," the letter from IHF said.

"We, therefore, feel that before proceeding further, a Committee of 7 members - 2 from IHF, 2 from HI, 2 from Sports Ministry should be formed. These six members of the Committee would then appoint a retired Judge of the Supreme Court as the Chairman," the letter from Mathur said.

"The Committee would then decide, within a period of six months, the number of State Units to be members of NSF. The members of the State Units, would then, elect the office bearers of the NSF.

"Meanwhile, as an interim arrangement, Hockey India would field the team for the International Tournaments and all domestic tournaments would be held by IHF. IHF would also hold the World Series Hockey League in partnership with Nimbus Sports.

"The entire exercise, i.e. recognition of State Units, formation of NSF for men and women and holding of elections of the office bearers in NSF should be completed within a period of 6-9 months," Mathur has concluded.

(Agencies)