Narinder Batra re-elected as FIH president

New Delhi, May 22 (UNI) Incumbent International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Narinder Batra was on Saturday re-elected for a second term during the world body’s virtual 47th Congress.

Batra, who is the also the President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, beat Marc Coudron of Belgium by a slim margin of just two votes to emerge victorious.

The Indian secured 63 votes out of 124 to edge past tough opponent in Coudron, who is the chief of Belgium Hockey Federation and sits on the country’s Olympic panel.

The 124 member associations participated during the voting process at the FIH Congress, which was held virtually due to travel restrictions imposed in the wake of the ongoing pandemic.

Batra will hold the office until 2024 as the FIH has reduced the term from four to three years due to deferment of the Congress last year. The 47th Congress was to be held last year in New Delhi but was postponed because of the COVID-19.

In 2016, Batra who was then an Executive Board Member of FIH as well as the Vice-President of the Asian Hockey Federation, became the first Indian to head a global sports governing body when he replaced outgoing FIH President Leandro Negre, for a four-year term.

The veteran Indian sports administrator is also the only Asian to grab the top post in the world body’s 92-year-old history.

Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam also congratulated Dr Batra on his appointment.

‘Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra in his first term led the hockey fraternity into a new era with innovative formats and tournaments that would further enhance the popularity of the sport particularly among the younger generation, ‘ he said.

‘He is a man on a mission to globalize hockey and we congratulate him and wish him the very best as he endeavors to achieve new milestones as President of FIH in his second consecutive term. It is a proud moment for India. We will continue to seek his guidance and learn from his experience to further develop the sport in India,’ he added.

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