Sports Minister summons rival groups to end row

By Amlan Chakraborty

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's Sports Minister Ajay Maken has summoned rival hockey factions to a meeting on Saturday in a bid to end a long-running row in the sport which brought the country eight Olympic gold medals.

Maken said he had summoned officials from Hockey India (HI) and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), adding: "We are keen to revive hockey. We have not done well in the recent past and I think HI and IHF should work together.

"If the issue still persists, we have something else in mind but I can't reveal it at this stage."

The IHF, which forfeited the International Hockey Federation's recognition in 2008 and has since been replaced by HI, was revived by a court order last year.

Maken promised money would not be an issue in recruiting a coach from abroad for the men's national team once the dispute had been settled.

The coach would be one of 28 foreign coaches the Sports Ministry planned to employ in various sports for India's London Olympic preparations, for which $58 million had been earmarked, he said.

(Editing by Clare Fallon)