International Hockey Federation (FIH) decision of scraping Champions Trophy is causing much of a stir in hockey fraternity. President of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar stated that he would ask the FIH to weigh their decision again.
Brig Khalid said, “The move is the most unfortunate for the game of hockey. We’ll ask the FIH to rescind its plan of doing away with the event and continue holding it regularly,”
He went on to say, “Hockey is our national game which though has been suffering for quite some time, people still love it very much. It’ll be unfortunate if the prestigious international event is dumped for any other event,”
The FIH has recently announced to revamp portfolio of international events from 2019 and onwards that will attract more audience to the game and will change the image of international hockey. FIH has decided to dump Champions Trophy as well; the last edition of the prestigious tournament will be played in 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The proposal of the new portfolio was approved in Switzerland earlier this month. The decision wasn’t made overnight, it had 18 months of consultation and research work in the support by a specially formed working group for the project.
The PHF President claimed that the board wasn’t taken onboard as the FIH Executive Committee member from Pakistan, Qasim Zia, (former President PHF) didn’t convey the message to the board. PHF wasn’t aware of this proposal.
The PHF President said that they have always welcomed new international events as they are helpful in making the game popular, but, they will not hail the decision of introducing new events at the cost of Champions Trophy.
He gave credit to the PHF to help hockey grow, “Our innumerable services to the game of hockey are well-known. Changes could have been made without doing away with the Champions Trophy, if they were really necessary at all.”