FIFA President Sepp Blatter to visit India next month

FIFA President Sepp Blatter will visit India early next month to have a first hand account of the developmental work here.  According to reports in newspapers, Blatter, who is scheduled to visit Nepal during the AFC Challenge Cup (March 8-19), will be in India on March 9, All India Football Federation vice-president Subrata Dutta said here on Monday. Blatter will meet the Executive Committee members of the All India Football Federation which is expected to apprise him of the various developmental works in the country, including FIFA projects.

According to a report in The Times Of India, following an emergency meeting in New Delhi on Monday, the AIFF gave the go-ahead to organisers of the franchise-based football tournament, thus ending uncertainty over its kick-off this season.

"The AIFF wanted some clarifications from organisers about the tournament and we have produced all necessary documents to convince the federation that the PLS is not being held in violation of any rules," IFA vice-president Subrata Dutta said after the meeting.

In a respite to hockey players who were caught in the feud between the Indian Hockey Federation and Hockey India, Delhi High Court on Monday held that the players’ participation in privately organised events should be permitted if they did not interfere with the schedule of the national team. According to a report in The Indian Express, Delhi High Court asserted that the flow of money in hockey was ‘necessary’ to ‘redeem’ the national sport’s past glory that the domestic events could be arranged in such a manner that it did not come in conflict with preparatory camps or the period when the international events are going to be held.

The judgement could be a shot in the arm for the rebel World Series Hockey (WSH), a joint initiative of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Nimbus Sports, says the report. A bench of Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw passed the verdict on a petition by former India captain and coach Joachim Carvalho, that Hockey India (HI), which is managing the game, be restrained from threatening players that they would not be considered for national duty if they participated in WSH.

According to a news report in The Hindu, Mayookha Johny bettered the National indoor record in long jump while competing in a meet at Ludwigshafen (Germany) last Saturday. Her leap of 6.44 metres overhauled Anju George's National indoor mark of 6.40m set in Birmingham in March, 2003. Mayookha is aiming to touch 6.65m towards qualification for the Olympics. She has already attained a qualification standard in triple jump.