FIH withdraws Champions trophy from India

Zeenews Sports Bureau

New Delhi: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Tuesday withdrew the men’s champions’ trophy tournament which was to be held in December in New Delhi.

The immediate setback for the Indian hockey team with this decision would be that their chances of qualifiying for the London Olympics would become rather bleak.

"We regret that we have to move the Champions Trophy from India,” said FIH President Leandro Negre. “It is difficult for the teams, the organizers and the fans. But we feel that this is the only way to maintain the integrity of our sport," said the FIH President.

The Champions trophy tournament is for the top 8 ranked hockey nations and India’s current position is 9th. If tournament was to be organised in India, they would have been able to participate on account of being host. Moreover, with India’s participation it would have been a chance to qualify for the Olympics as well.

The decision by FIH was on the backdrop of the ongoing organisational mismanagement and problems in the governance involving FIH, IHF and the government.

The FIH says a country can only have one ruling body and it does not recognize the current government-backed joint administrative arrangement between Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation.

FIH-recognized Hockey India was formed in 2008 following the IHF's suspension over bribery allegations, but IHF's status was restored by an Indian court last year.

A new venue for the Dec. 1-11 event will be announced soon, the FIH said.

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