Is the tussle between Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) the reason behind the Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd (MHAL) losing its hockey turf? Going by the turn of events, it seems likely.
However, the MHAL, which will be meeting its affiliated clubs on Wednesday to discuss the present status of the lease and further course of action, believes the reason that the government cancelled its lease citing the reasons like not promoting hockey, using the land for commercial purposes (such as letting out for marriages) and not granting membership to Olympians and Arjuna/Shiv Chhatrapati awardees.
The whole scenario, however, could be different. Hockey India will be holding one of its ambitious project — the Hockey India League (HIL) and would be requiring the iconic Mumbai’s Mahindra Hockey Stadium from December 20 to February 5. The dates, however, had already been given by the MHAL to World Series Hockey (WSH), organised by the IHF and Nimbus Sports. WSH is scheduled to be held from December 15 to January 23.
Since some of the big players are involved in the HIL, Mumbai as a venue is certainly a hot cake for a tournament to succeed. HI has been exchanging letters with the state government through Hockey Maharashtra and directly, copies of which are available with DNA, asking for the hockey stadium to host the tournament on the lines of the Indian Premier League that will also have the foreign flavour.
Hockey Maharashtra officials said the parent body has been in constant touch with the state government over the availability of the ground. It is learnt that HI is likely to get the stadium as they’ve reached an agreement with the government.
Meanwhile, Hockey Mahara-shtra officials have also asked the government for the ground. “We have requested the government to give us the ground and we are ready to pay the fees are so that we can have our academies and run tournaments,” Hockey Maharashtra general secretary Kehar Singh said.