Narinder Batra, chief of Hockey India was elected as the new president of International Hockey Federation (FIH) on 12 November 2016 at the 45th FIH Congress held in Dubai. Amoung 118 voters, only 110 voted while eight chose not to vote.
With the win, Batra became the 12th president of FIH and the first non-European to take over the post in the International body’s 92-year-old history.
Key Highlights of the win
• The voting was conducted in a secret ballot. Each voter was given a tablet with a unique password to cast their vote.
• With 68 votes, Batra won an overwhelming majority.
• His competitors-Ken Read from Australia and David Balbirnie from Ireland received 30 and 29 votes respectively.
• In his new position, Batra succeeds Leandro Negre from Spain, who served as the president of FIH since 2008.
• He became the president of Hockey India in 2014
• He was the main brain behind the successful Hockey India League (HIL), which brings together hockey stars from across the world.
• He has changed the face of Indian Hockey by getting more revenue. Under his leadership the income of Hockey India has gone up from 500,000 US Dollars to 14 million US Dollars.
• During his tenure, he has also ensured that India hosts at least one major International tournament every year.
With this appointment, Batra joins the league of other acclaimed Indians who rose to lead notable International sport organizations like Jagmohan Dalmiya and Sharad Pawar, both of whom served as president of International Cricket Council (ICC), N Ramachandran who was President of World Squash Federation and Janardhan Singh Gehlot, who served as the President of International Kabaddi Federation.
Batra’s four-year term begins effective immediately. He will be expected to work closely with FIH’s outgoing CEO Kelly Fairweather and then with interim CEO David Luckes, FIH Director of Sport until newly appointed CEO, Jason McCracken takes over on 1 February 2017.