Mushtaque Ahmad steps down as Hockey India president, Gyanendro Ningombam named officiating chief

Mushtaque Ahmad's election as Hockey India president had been a contentious point having already served two consecutive terms.

FP Sports July 10, 2020 14:07:45 IST
Mushtaque Ahmad steps down as Hockey India president, Gyanendro Ningombam named officiating chief

Hockey India named Gyanendro Ningombam as the officiating president at the Emergent Executive Board meeting on Friday after Mushtaque Ahmad tendered his resignation. Ahmad had been in his role as president of the national sports body since 2018. He was earlier the secretary general.

In the Hockey India Emergent Executive Board meeting, Ahmad's resignation was accepted. The Executive Board under the rules and regulations of constitution subsequently nominated and approved senior vice president Ningombam as the new officiating president.

Earlier this week, Sports Ministry had asked Ahmad to step down having declared that his 2018 election was violation of the National Sports Code's tenure guidelines.

In a 6 July letter sent to Hockey India secretary general Rajinder Singh, the Ministry asked the federation "to conduct fresh election for the post of president" by 30 September for the remaining term.

"...the matter has been examined...and it has been observed that Mushtaque Ahmed had earlier served as Treasurer in Hockey India from 2010-2014 and secretary general from 2014-2018. The instant term 2018-2022 of Mushtaque as president is his third consecutive term as office-bearer in HI," the letter said, reported PTI.

"Thus his election as president of HI is not in consonance with the government guidelines limiting age and tenure of office-bearers of National Sports Federations," it added.

Under the Sports Code, office-bearers of a National Sports Federation (NSF) can have only two consecutive terms of four years each. But following amendments, a president can hold office for three terms.

The contentious issue saw multiple back and forths between the Sports Ministry and HI. Hockey India argued the 2018 elections were its second after recognition in 2014 and Ahmad was currently serving his second term as an office-bearer.

Sports Ministry, however, ruled that the guidelines "are applied at the time of granting recognition and accordingly the tenure of office-bearer at the time of recognition is considered while examining the eligibility".

The Sports Ministry said, in an RTI reply, at the time of accepting HI's elections in 2014 (when Ahmad was elected as secretary general), his tenure was considered as his second and this was intimated to Hockey India with approval of sports minister.

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