Egypt’s Seif Ahmed has today (July 20) been appointed acting president of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), field hockey’s world governing body, following the resignation of Narinder Batra on Monday (July 18).
Ahmed, president of the African Hockey Federation (AfHF), was announced as acting president following an FIH executive board meeting, at which Batra’s resignation was also officially accepted.
In addition, the board confirmed that a permanent successor to Batra will be elected on November 5.
Ahmed was a member of Egypt’s national team in 1968 and has worked within the sport as both an umpire and technical official. He formerly acted as treasurer of the AfHF for nine years before being elected president in 2004.
He has been a member of the FIH executive board since 2001.
Batra, meanwhile, resigned as president of FIH citing “personal reasons” for his decision to step down only a year after being re-elected.
He was first elected as FIH president in 2016, with this first term being extended due to the Covid-19 pandemic delaying elections until last year. He won a second term after beating Belgium’s Mac Coudron by two votes in May 2021.
His resignation from FIH comes after the 65-year-old already announced he would step down as head of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) after being found guilty of illegal practices while president of governing body Hockey India.
The court’s decision led to Australian Olympic medalist Terry Walsh starting a petition on Friday (July 15) demanding Batra’s removal as president of the FIH.
The case took place following a petition from former Indian hockey player Aslam Sher Khan who challenged the appointment of Batra as a life member of Hockey India.
He was ordered to stop functioning as IOA president by the Delhi High court last month after it ruled his positions as ‘life member’ and ‘life president’ of Hockey India were illegal as they were not within the guidelines of the National Sports Code and Olympic Charter.
The court decision saw Batra step down from his role at IOA and Anil Khanna become acting president.
Batra’s decision to step down as head of IOA means he automatically loses his place on the International Olympic Committee as the two roles are tied together.
The court also ruled in favor of placing a three-member committee of administrators to run Hockey India’s day-to-day affairs.
The FIH executive board said today it would send a delegation to India soon to assess the current situation of Hockey India as the next FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup is currently planned to take place in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela in January next year.