Updated February 28th, 2024 at 16:00 IST

After CEO Norman's grave allegations, Hockey India denies any rift within organisation

In a collective statement, Dilip Tirkey and Bhola Nath Singh dismissed Elena Norman's assertions, affirming their cooperation and dedication for the sport.

Dilip Tirkey | Image:Hockey India
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Hockey India's president Dilip Tirkey and secretary general Bhola Nath Singh refuted claims made by outgoing CEO Elena Norman regarding a supposed divide between them, emphasizing their unity and commitment to advancing the sport's interests. Norman's resignation on Tuesday was accompanied by allegations of factionalism within the organization. The 49-year-old Australian implied discord between Dilip Tirkey and Bhola Nath Singh, also citing a challenging work atmosphere.

Also Read: 'Environment was in Hockey India was becoming suffocating': Outgoing Hockey India CEO Elena Norman

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Hockey India denies claims of factionalism

In a collective statement, Dilip Tirkey and Bhola Nath Singh dismissed Elena Norman's assertions, affirming their cooperation and dedication to fostering a conducive environment for hockey in India.

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"Recently there have been statements by outgoing officials published in the media, claiming that there are divisions within the organisation. This is not correct. We remain united in working together, and as always in the best interest of the sport," the joint statement read.

"Hockey India is an autonomous and professional body dedicated to the development of Indian hockey. Our primary objective as an organisation has been and continues to remain the welfare and progress of the sport of hockey and our athletes," the two said.  

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Norman's departure marked the second setback for Hockey India within a short span, following the resignation of Indian women's hockey team coach Janneke Schopman. Schopman, too, cited a challenging work environment in her resignation, alleging biased treatment towards women's hockey within HI.

Also Read: FACTION FIGHT in Indian hockey, salary issues: Why long-serving Hockey India CEO Elena Norman quit?

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Contrary to these claims, Dilip Tirkey and Bhola Nath Singh asserted that Hockey India has consistently maintained fairness towards all teams and players. They also asserted that they have fostered an environment of equality within the organisation.

"We have built our ethos around equity and equal opportunities right from the grassroots levels across states as well as on a national level," their statement read.

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"In this spirit, our entire focus remains on growing our talent, ensuring all hosted events are conducted with utmost professionalism and our national teams are receiving the best support to support their performance at the global stage." 

Norman began her tenure as the federation's first CEO back in 2011 with Narinder Batra as the head. After resigning, she stated that it was difficult for her to continue given the bickering inside HI.

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(With inputs from PTI)

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Published February 28th, 2024 at 15:49 IST