Bhubaneswar: The new format of the men's Champions Trophy hockey competed by eight countries today came in for criticism from the coaches of the participating teams who all feel that the current system was "unfair" and want to return to the old six-team format.
Till 2010, six best teams of the world used to participate in the prestigious Champions Trophy but from 2012 edition in Melboure onwards, International Hockey Federation (FIH) introduced the eight-team format by allotting wild card entries to lower-ranked teams - India and Pakistan
"I am not in favour of this format. In the current format a team can lose all their pool matches and still can go on to win the tournament. It is not fair," Olympic champions Germany's coach Markus Weise told PTI here.
"This format was introduced just to accommodate two more teams. I am always in favour of the old format of six teams," he said. According to the current format, eight teams are divided in two pools to play against each other in their respective groups.
But the pool matches hold little significance as a team will qualify for the quarterfinals even after losing all their pool games and then can go on to win the title.
It is a known fact that the FIH has introduced the eight-team format to include Asian powerhouses India and Pakistan in the tournament as the two nations have been languishing outside the top six bracket in the world rankings for some time now.
"The format is a difficult one. I do not particularly like it. But that is what we have got to play. We knew about the format when we started the tournament. But for us, we just want to play good hockey. For us every game is important," England coach Bob Crutchley said.
Argentina coach Carlos Retegui aired similar views but said if FIH persists with eight-team format then the quarterfinal round should be abolished.
"I do not like this type of format. But in this format we would have liked two top teams from each pool entering the semifinals instead of the quarterfinal stage," Retegui said.