Bhubaneswar: Former India captain and most-capped player Dilip Tirkey was elected Tuesday unopposed as the president of Hockey India (HI). Dilip Tirkey is the first person from Odisha to occupy the prestigious chair in Hockey India. No doubt, a plethora of good wishes and congratulatory messages poured in for Tirkey once the news of his achievement became public.
Leading the way in congratulating Tirkey was Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik among a host of dignitaries.
Congratulate @DilipTirkey – former Hockey Team Captain from #Odisha, on being elected as the president of @TheHockeyIndia. I am sure, being an illustrious player himself from the cradle of Indian hockey, he will take the game to new heights. Wish him all the very best (sic),” Patnaik wrote on Twitter.
Sports Secretary of the Odisha government, Vineel Krishna wrote, “Congratulations! It’s a proud moment for Odisha. Under your leadership I am sure there will be new momentum towards hockey development in the country.”
Hockey India elections were scheduled to be held October 1 but the results were declared in advance as there were no contestants for any of the posts, paving the way for the incumbent candidates to be elected unopposed as per the federation’s constitution.
Tirkey was elected after Uttar Pradesh Hockey chief Rakesh Katyal and Hockey Jharkhand’s Bhola Nath Singh, who was in the fray for the president’s post, withdrew their nominations Friday. Bhola Nath has been elected unopposed as secretary general.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has approved Tirkey and his team’s appointments.
In a letter, the FIH said that when the number of contesting candidates for any post is equal to or less than the number of posts, they shall be deemed to have been elected unopposed as per election by-laws on the Hockey India website.
“Therefore, we are pleased to observe that the executive board of Hockey India stands elected as has been put on the website of Hockey India and that the posts election was unanimous for all posts,” the FIH said.
The game’s governing body appreciated the efforts of the three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA), which included Justice Anil R Dave, SY Quraishi and Zafar Iqbal, for smoothly conducting the election process.
“We are delighted that the election process has been completed and a democratic body is now in place. We extend our congratulations to Dr Dilip Tirkey, Bhola Nath Singh and Sekar J Manoharan and look forward to working with them closely,” the panel stated.
Tirkey took to twitter to thank the CoA and FIH and said he will work towards taking Indian hockey to the next level. “I will ensure that Indian hockey reaches to new heights,” he tweeted.