BENGALURU: It has been a chaotic start to the year for the state hockey authorities, with a Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports (DYES) decision leading to a confrontation between the Karnataka State Hockey Association (KSHA) and Hockey Karnataka.
The ‘A’ division league conducted by the original state body, KSHA, was under way at the KSHA Stadium on Saturday when Hockey Karnataka landed at the same time to organise its own league matches.
Hockey Karnataka had a letter from DYES permitting it to use the ground for the league. According to KSHA, the department had not consulted it before giving the green signal to Hockey Karnataka.
KSHA objected to the move as more than a hundred of its members had already arrived at the venue. Eventually, the police were called in and neither group could organise a match after 4 pm.
“They showed us the letter in the morning as they had matches at 12 noon, 2 pm and 4 pm. We sportingly allowed them to conduct the first two matches but refused to give them the ground for the third game as it clashed with our programme,” said KSHA secretary K Krishnamurthy.
“The IHF (International Hockey Federation)- Hockey India dispute is still in the Supreme Court. I don’t know how state government officials can give them permission to use the stadium,” said Krishnamurthy.
“The police informed us that they would talk to their higher-ups and get back to us. We have also spoken to Sports Minister Abhayachandra Jain and we hope to find a peaceful solution,” he added.
The stadium land has been leased out to KSHA by the government on a long-term basis. After Hockey Karnataka came into being, it was given office space in the western stands of the stadium.The Karnataka Olympic Association has given affiliation to Hockey Karnataka but it will be ratified only after the Supreme Court judgment.