New Global Hockey League to revamp FIH calendar

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Image Courtesy: © Hockey India

New Global Hockey League to revamp FIH calendar

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Arun S Kaimal

04/16/2016

In an attempt to make the sport popular, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is set to introduce drastic changes with a new Global Hockey League (GHL) replacing the Champions Trophy. The 2018 edition of the Champions Trophy in Amsterdam will be the last with GHL taking its place from 2019.

In addition to the Champions Trophy, the FIH has also decided to scrap two more events on the calendar – the Hockey World League Semi-Finals and Finals. FIH President Leandro Negre announced these changes to the FIH calendar on Friday during the ongoing Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, where India will take on Australia in the final.

"The Global Hockey League will be a transformation for international hockey," Negre was quoted as saying by PTI.

“We’ll have a World League 1 and World League 2, and depending on the cycle, we’ll channel teams to a standalone Olympic qualifier or World Cup qualifier. There’ll also be confirmation soon on the fact that there will be no Champions Trophy after 2018,” he added.

The Global Hockey League will be a four-month tourney comprising of seven nations in the first edition in 2019. Two more teams will be added in 2021 edition before promotion and relegation are introduced in 2023.

The current Hockey World League (HWL) was introduced after the 2010 Olympics with India hosting the first Hockey World League Finals in 2014 and the second edition in 2015, where India finished with a bronze. India is also scheduled to host the next edition of HWL Finals in 2017.

The world hockey governing body will also introduce stand-alone qualifiers for the World Cup and the Olympics after the scrapping of the World Hockey League semi-finals, which was playing the role of the qualifiers.

"We will also have stand-alone qualifiers for the Olympic Games and the World Cup," Negre said.

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