Ending its feud with the Mumbai Hockey Association Limited (MHAL), Hockey India brought the federation into its fold as an associate member, an official release said on Thursday.
The induction to Hockey India means MHAL will be able to take part in all the national championships in future though it will not have any voting rights. The MHAL and Hockey India were at the loggerheads ever since the inception because of the former's affiliation with the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF).
The MHAL continues to be an affiliated body of the IHF too.
"There are many associations who are affiliated to both, Hockey India and the IHF. Railways, Services, Air India are a few examples. We do not have voting rights; our interest is to bring big time hockey back to Mumbai and give our players an opportunity to play in the big tournaments," MHAL president Mangha Singh Bakshi said.
Officials from Hockey Maharashtra were surprised by this sudden development and insisted that the decision should have been taken with consent of all the members.
The IHF, meanwhile, accused Hockey India of using arm-twisting tactics. "They (Hockey India) had been threatening MHAL to take their ground away. The MHAL officials succumbed to the pressure eventually," an IHF official said. With this move, Hockey India now has six associate members besides 30 affiliated members and two other members through State Olympic Associations.