The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) was the national governing body for Hockey in India and all other hockey associations used to operate under the supervision of IHF. However, controversies regarding the IHF management led the International Olympic Committee to de-recognized the body in 2008, and instituted Hockey India, a body that started to deal with the International Hockey Federation in order to oversee the organisation of the 2010 Men`s Hockey World Cup.
History of IHF
The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) was instituted in the year 1925 with it`s headquarter based in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, during the Scindia Gold Cup tournament. The Indian Hockey Federation got the recognition and membership of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) in the year 1927. The IHF soon organised a national championship between provinces in 1928 and the venue of the championship was Calcutta (present day Kolkata). The main objective behind organising the championship was to select the Indian team for the Amsterdam Olympic Games. The first international tour undertaken by any Indian team representing IHF was the Army Hockey team`s tour to New Zealand. The Indian players performed wonderfully in the tour and their excellent skills thrilled everyone.
Evolution of IHF
After the successful tour of the Army Hockey Team to New Zealand, the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) started organising more tours. The tours were organised for providing the Indian team with an opportunity to get enough practice to excel in the field of Hockey. India successfully participated in the Olympic Games under the supervision of the IHF and it won six straight Gold medals in the championship from 1928 to 1956. The official structure of the IHF was changed a bit in the year 1934, after the Indian team came back from the Olympic Games winning the second gold. The IHF inducted two Vice Presidents and a Treasurer and by this, the previous two member IHF body of President and Secretary, got a boost to become a five-member body.
Prominent members of IHF
Mr. Naval Tata took charge as the first President of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) of Independent India in 1947. He continued to remain in charge for a long period, before Ashwini Kumar became the new president. Ashwini Kumar was replaced by MAM Ramaswamy in 1974. According to the present official structure of IHF, the federation is being headed by the President and he is assisted by eight Vice-Presidents. The other office bearers of IHF include the Secretary General, the Treasurer, Three joint Secretaries, and also a paid Assistant Secretary. There are 30 members in the IHF, as well.
Dismissal of IHF by Indian Olympic Association
In 2008, the then secretary of the Indian Hockey Federation, K. Jothikumaran was implicated in a news channel`s sting operation. The Indian Olympic Association under Suresh Kalmadi de-recognised the body and instituted Hockey India in order to deal with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) regarding the upcoming 2010 Hockey Men`s World Cup to be hosted in India. The FIH went as far as instituting its vice president Tony von Ondarza as an observer for the highly controversial Hockey India elections. Eventually, Hockey India organized the 2010 Hockey Men`s World cup.
Resurgence of IHF
Despite setbacks with the IOC regarding the 2010 Men`s Hockey World Cup, IHF successfully collaborated with Nimbus Sports (famed for organizing the Indian Premiere League) in the creation of a Hockey premiere league following the discontinuation of the Premiere Hockey League.
The Indian Hockey Federation has a distinguished history and a somewhat besmirched present thanks to recent controversies. However, it`s continued influence in the world of Indian hockey is attested by its successful resurgence.