NEW DELHI: Manipur’s Gyanendro Ningombam was on Friday elected unopposed as the Hockey India (HI) president, taking over from Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad.
Ahmad remains in the federation after being elected unopposed for the senior vice-president post at HI’s Congress and Elections here.
Access to the meeting through video conferencing facility was made available for member units which were unable to travel due to the restrictions imposed by their respective state governments to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
On being elected unopposed, Ningombam becomes the first President from the North East region to spearhead HI.
He held the position of “officiating president” after Ahmad tendered his resignation in July citing personal and family commitments.
The Sports Ministry had, in fact, asked Ahmad to step down, declaring his 2018 election as violative of the national sports code’s tenure guidelines and also directed the federation to conduct fresh election for the post of president.
Ningombam, who has been elected for a term of two years, has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Manipur Hockey between 2009-2014 and has been associated with the game for over a decade.
He has been actively involved in developing hockey at the grassroots in the North East region.
During Ahmad’s tenure, HI hosted several major international tournaments including the World Cup in 2018.
In May, HI had held a special Congress virtually where the members of the Executive Board discussed the status of Olympic preparations of both the men and women national teams after the pandemic abruptly halted sporting activities across the country.
“I congratulate Mr Gyanendro Ningombam on being Elected Unopposed as the President of Hockey India and welcome Mr Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad back into the Hockey India Executive Board in a new capacity as the Senior Vice President,” said HI secretary general Rajinder Singh in a statement.
In the meeting, resumption of competition was discussed extensively, starting with the 2021 National Championships.
“We had a very fruitful meeting today with representatives from all State Member Units, there were various key discussion points…
“… resuming the domestic calendar and the need for support of all State member Units in terms of following all the Government Guidelines to hold another successful Annual National Championship in 2021 especially with the Covid-19 situation still prevalent in the country.
“Planning for the upcoming year 2021 was another key discussion point, where the status of competitions for all 4 National teams were discussed and the need for more International exposure for both the senior & Junior teams which will be key in the preparations leading up to the Olympics and Junior World Cups respectively,” Singh added.