IHA called to task after clubs’ request for clarity over Champs Challenge withdrawal

Following a request from 12 clubs, ten from Leinster and two from Ulster, the IHA have confirmed they will hold a Special General Meeting on Sunday, December 2 at the Stillorgan Park Hotel at 12pm.

On the agenda for the meeting are “the circumstances surrounding the recent IHA executive decision on October 2 to withdraw the Irish men’s national squad from the champions challenge 1 competition, and the manner of its’ implementation”.

This issue initially arose in the wake of the decision to withdraw the Irish men’s team from the Champions Challenge I in Argentina before a fundraising drive from the hockey public raised €60,000 in five days to contribute to the IHA taking an about turn.

The request for an IHA was initially delivered to the IHA via email on October 10 to trigger a clause in the national body’s constitution that would force an SGM to be convened inside 21 days.

But, after that three-week period had passed, the national body responded by requesting a hard copy of the letter in order for the SGM to be convened.

Now that this request has been fulfilled, the IHA will address the issue with the following 13 specific questions submitted.

– On what criteria did the IHA make their initial decision on October 2 2012 to remove the men from the Champions Challenge 1 competition?
– Why the IHA initially misled its members by stating that attendance at this tournament was being withdrawn due to coaching issues, when the announcement on October 5, 2012 implied that funding was the main issue?
– Why the IHA waited to initially cancel the trip until a large fine would be incurred when an earlier decision could have avoided this?
– Why the IHA also did not keep the team informed that there were difficulties that may prevent them travelling? What was the reason for notifying the team in the way they were?
– Why the IHA did not anticipate that a lack of funds would impact on the team’s ability to travel to this tournament?
– What the IHA has done with budget allocations for all tournaments this year and if amounts were not set aside for specific events then why not? If amounts were set aside, how have they been spent already and who sanctioned this?
– How the IHA had planned to fund London 2012 if the Irish teams had qualified for the Olympics, and are provisions being made to fund the World Cup 2014 and Rio 2016?
– Are sufficient funds available at present to send the senior teams through all rounds of the World League should that occur?
– How has such a funding crisis developed? Did the IHA set out a clear budget for expenditure in the current year, and if so please make this available to the special general meeting. Who is responsible for ensuring the budget is adhered to? If no budget plans existed then why not?
– In light of the inability of the IHA to fund participation at major tournaments, can the board give a breakdown of current operating costs of the association including salaries, and in addition, details of job specs and responsibilities for its employees.
– Has the IHA sanctioned any pay rises within its association this year despite the lack of funds available for its senior teams?
– With the benefit of hindsight what has the IHA learned from this experience and what has been initiated to ensure it won’t happen again?
– What are the consequences of this situation for all concerned?

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