New Delhi: Hockey India (HI) President Narinder Batra was on Saturday elected as the new president of International Hockey Federation (FIH). This was announced at the FIH Congress, which began in Dubai on November 10 and concluded on Saturday.
Batra, who was an Executive Board Member of FIH as well as the Vice-President of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF), will replace outgoing FIH President Leandro Negre for a four-year term at the helm.
“Massive congratulations to HI President Dr. Narinder Batra for being elected as the first Indian President of @FIH_Hockey on 12 Nov 2016!,” Hockey India wrote in its Twitter handle.
Batra beat Ken Read of Australia and David Balbirnie of Ireland, taking home 68 votes.
With this, Batra has become the first Indian to be elected as head of the world hockey body.
“I feel extremely honoured and I look forward to lead the FIH global hockey evolution,” Batra, who became the first Indian to be elected as head of the world hockey body, told reporters.
“My priority will be to widen the base and extend geographical boundaries. To popularise the sport worldwide, we need to take the sport beyond a maximum of five-six top hockey playing nations in both men and women.”
“This will be the key in creating mass appeal globally for hockey.”
“I believe once we achieve this, we can also increase the revenue. We must also engage with a younger audience via various digital platforms.”
“It is something which will take smart and strategic planning, and I look forward to the challenge,” he added.
Batra added: “It is my firm belief that this innovation will lead to better commerce for hockey. If we want to create a hockey revolution, we first need to think about our players and give them nothing but the best. They are the custodians of our future.”
Batra, 59, became president of Hockey India in the year 2014 after serving as its secretary.