FIH Pro League will raise hockey’s profile, states chief executive Thierry Weil

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FIH Pro League will raise hockey’s profile, states chief executive Thierry Weil

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SportsCafe Desk

01/18/2019

FIH CEO Thierry Weil has asserted that the new FIH Pro League will ensure that there is an increase in hockey’s profile around the world. The CEO also opined that the league will offer a top-level hockey tournament for the nations at the global stage other than the World Cups and Olympics.

Spain and Belgium will start a new era of hockey tournaments as they will play FIH’s ambitious annual Pro League. The Pro League is a new competition which is expected to transform the sport all around the globe and according to the CEO of the world body, it will reduce hockey’s over-dependence of marquee events like the World Cup and the Olympics.

Nine countries in both men’s and women’s competitions, will play each other in home and away games over a six-month period followed by semi-finals and a final. However, Hockey India has decided to pull its teams from the tournament for the first two years.  

“There was a little bit of a wake-up call from the IOC in 2014 in relation to hockey, based on attendances and figures during the Olympic games. From then onwards, the FIH has been developing this hockey revolution,” Weil told The Reuters. 

“We must continue to be a role model and a good federation within the Olympic movement. But we also need to do other things which allow us to generate revenue on our own, not being 100 percent dependent on the Olympic movement.”

India pulled out from the championship 18 months ago as the governing body, Hockey India, believed that the women’s team will not be benefitted from the tournament and was against the participation of the men’s side only in the Pro League. Weil has informed that the Indian teams would join in 2021. 

The world body will ensure that all the matches of the league will be shown live on television at least in the home nations. FIH also launched its own OTT platform – FIH.live earlier this month and it will also broadcast the Pro League games.

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