Hockey India announces IPL-style hockey league

New Delhi: Hockey India (HI) will be conducting an IPL-like International Men`s Hockey League, which has the FIH sanction, from 2013, HI said in a release. HI said they have asked for a 45-day window from the FIH.

"FIH has been requested for a 45-day window in its calendar for the event and also not to conduct any other tournament during this period," HI said. "Teams featuring the top current overseas world stars besides India will be drawn from various regions of the country.”

"The teams will be owned by franchisees and matches will be played on a home and away basis as in the IPL cricket format. This league shall be held annually and will be part of the FIH annual schedule."

Meanwhile, Hockey India lashed out at the Indian Hockey Federation for organising an unauthorised World Series Hockey (WSH) league to clash with the national camp to prepare the team for the London qualifiers.

HI said it has learnt the IHF-promoted WSH league, which does not have the sanction of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), is slated to be conducted in various Indian cities December 2011-January 2012.

HI pointed out how abysmally the India team performed during its regime and how well it has done under its (HI`s) banner. "Under the Indian Hockey Federation, India failed to qualify for the Olympic Games at Beijing in 2008. This was the first time in 80 years that India went unrepresented in the hockey competition at the Olympic Games. This was nothing short of a national catastrophe as Indian hockey plunged to a new low.”

"During the IHF period, India, apart from not qualifying for the Beijing Olympics, performed abysmally in the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games 2006, finishing 11th, 6th and 5th, respectively.”

"However, the team performed much better under Hockey India in the next edition of all these games in 2010. There was a marked improvement in the results as India finished 8th, silver medallist and bronze medallist, respectively, at the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games," HI said.

The FIH has cracked its whip on the shabby management of Indian hockey. In its Sep 27 letter to the sports ministry, FIH made it clear that it does not approve of the settlement brokered by the ministry to make HI and the IHF run the sport jointly.

The FIH said it only recognises HI as the sole governing body of the sport in India.

The FIH has already taken the Champions Trophy away from India and it will now be held in Auckland, New Zealand. India`s participation in the 2012 London Olympics and other international events may also be jeopardised if a solution is not reached over the WSH.


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