Hockey the national game has long been neglected by youth and to this day has been confined to government employees. If more youth opt for the game, we could take the game to towering peaks.
At last on Wednesday, ending the long dilemma the International Hockey Federation (FIH) President Leandro Negro announced that India will host final of the inaugural World Hockey League that will now serve as a qualifying tournament for both the World Cup and Olympics. Adding, the FIH World League would kick-off a month after the 2012 London Olympics. The tourney will carry on for over 2 years. The final round of the women’s event will be hosted by Argentina in December, 2013 and India will host the men’s final round in January, 2014.
The FIH President came stern on the rebel league World Series Hockey (WSH), has not been recognized by the association. And anyone opting to participate will face sanctions. WSH is being jointly promoted by the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Nimbus Sports. “Our stand is very clear. Players and officials are free to join any league, but we have sanctions in place. The WSH is a very good idea and profitable for players, but will only recognize tournaments that are held under the aegis of Hockey India,” said Kelly Fairweather, FIH chief executive officer.
The FIH World league is mostly based on the cricket format. 80 men-teams and 52 women-teams are going to participate in this mammoth event stretched for a little over two years. Six to seven teams each will qualify in both sections and they will join the five continental champions and host nation to form the line-up for the World Cup and the Olympic Games. (With inputs from internet: AarKay)