The Delhi High Court on Monday cleared the way for the players' participation in the World Series Hockey (WSH), a joint initiative of Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Nimbus Sport, if the tournament schedule does not clash with international commitments of the national team.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw disposed of a petition of Joachim Carvalho, a former player and coach, that Hockey India (HI), which is managing the game, be restrained from threatening players that they would not be considered for national duty if they participate in WSH, an IPL-like initiative for Hockey of rival group IHF.
"We are of the opinion that the matter can be placed before the the International Hockey Federation (FIH) in the same prospective as narrated by us in the judgement. Clarification can be sought from the FIH. At this time, the FIH can be impressed upon to sanction the event (WSH) if it is still required, more so, when the new dates to be fixed by the organisers are not in any way clashing with the schedule fixed by FIH for international events," the bench said.
"Domestic events can be arranged in such a manner that it does not come in conflict with preparatory camps or the period when the international events are going to be held," the bench noted, adding IHF had already agreed to re-schedule WSH.
The court said money flow in the game was "necessary" to "redeem" past glory of hockey and ways and means can be found to facilitate participation of players in WSH. It ruled that regulations of HI restraining players' participation in WSH would only apply "in respect of the commitments made after March 31, 2011.