India's Commonwealth field hockey dispute resolved
India's Supreme Court ended a deadlock between rival field hockey factions Friday, paving the way for the country's participation in the sport at the Commonwealth Games.
The court ordered that the body affiliated to the international hockey federation had the right to select the teams for the Oct. 3-14 Games.
"We direct as an interim measure that the Indian Olympic Association and Hockey India will field the Indian teams for the men's and women's competitions in the Commonwealth Games," the Supreme Court ruled.
Hockey India, which is recognized by the world governing body, had organized the World Cup in March and had been selecting national teams. The body took over two years ago from the Indian Hockey Federation, which was disaffiliated by the IOA because of corruption allegations.
The IHF had already been expelled by the world body for failing to merge the men's and women's associations, but a recent High Court ruling said that the IHF had been disaffiliated illegitimately by the national Olympic committee because it had not been given a chance to explain its position.
The sports ministry subsequently recognized the IHF and also asked the FIH not to deal with Hockey India.
"It is sad that the courts have to intervene in matters of sport," the Supreme Court said.
India is considered a medal prospect in women's hockey at the Commonwealth Games but only has an outside chance in the men's competition.
India has a rich tradition in field hockey with eight Olympic gold medals, but the country has failed to excel since the introduction of synthetic turf in the 1970s.