New Delhi:International Hockey Federation (FIH) chief Leandro Negre on Tuesday had a first hand experience of the turmoil that plagues Indian hockey when Bengal state association president JB Roy came calling with a complaint that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was "killing" the sport in the country.
A day after Negre announced the title sponsor for the 2010 World Cup to be held here, he met Roy and Amrit Bose, Secretary of the Indian Women's Hockey Federation (IWHF), who complained about the IOA high-handedness in the formation of Hockey India and its impending elections.
"It was pointed out to him that the IOA was interfering in the democratic process by announcing a three-member committee to form the state bodies and instructing these bodies not to admit anybody without the permission of its favorites, Lalit Bhanot and Harish Sharma," the JB Roy camp said in a statement.
"They (Roy and Bose) said neither of these two gentlemen had any relevance or relation to hockey, since Bhanot is looking after athletics and Sharma is looking after basketball for many years now," it read.
Roy told Negre that by doing so, the IOA was making a mockery of democracy and natural justice and was indulging in dirty politicking and killing the sport.
Negre, on his part, has promised to ensure that Hockey India elections are conducted in a fully democratic manner by October this year, they claimed.
The dissident group has also decided to meet International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge to apprise him of the issue.
"To raise the awareness level against the undemocratic functioning of the IOA, a five- member delegation would meet the President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge, in Lausanne soon. Roy has made it clear that he is making all efforts to restore Indian hockey to its glorious past, and not just to hold an office," the statement added.