Mansoor floats proposal to add Champions Trophy with GHL
Lahore—Pakistan Hockey Federation expressing its concern has protested to International Hockey Federation (FIH) on the elimination of champion’s trophy Hockey tournament incepted by Pakistan.
“In light of the recent decision of FIH, it is a matter of immense disappointment and dismay for Pakistan Hockey Federation to learn that FIH has decided to eliminate the ever exciting Champions Trophy from its yearly calendar all of a sudden without any prior consultation with PHF whatsoever”, said a spokesman of PHF here on Wednesday.
PHF introduced the Champion’s Trophy to the FIH in 1979 and since then, the tournament had been set for 35 times out of which Pakistan had won the title thrice. World’s top six hockey teams come together annually to face off against each other for the title.
“However, Pakistan being the originator of the tournament has always remained vigilant and supportive for the best interest of our national game and its audience and such decisions result in dissuasion of Hockey governing bodies for taking constructive initiatives for the growth and development of hockey”, said the spokesman. Meanwhile, former Olympian Mansoor Ahmed has asked Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) to strive for amendment of the new proposed Global Hockey League’s (GHL) name.
“I think the time has passed now. It won’t be possible for the FIH to change its plan. But Pakistan can plead its case in another way, asking the world hockey governing body to name the GHL as GHL Champions Trophy or Global Champions Trophy League to recognize Pakistan’s services,” Mansoor told APP on Wednesday.
“This event was introduced by Pakistan. It is one of the toughest international hockey events, after Olympics and World Cup. Scrapping it from the FIH calendar means erasing a complete history of rich hockey contests”, he said.
He expressed the surprise as why the PHF was not taken onboard about the FIH’s plan to eliminate the Champions Trophy from its yearly calendar. “Look this does not happen all of a sudden. There would have been a lot of deliberations in the FIH before it was decided to scrap Champions Trophy.
“I’m shocked as why our representative at the FIH didn’t raise his voice when in its (FIH) executive board meeting it was being decided to remove this event from the calendar. The PHF also says that it was not consulted at all. Is this not mind boggling?” he asked.
It may be mentioned here that FIH has recently stated that a new portfolio of events will be launched in 2019 which will completely change the landscape of international hockey. The plan also includes scrapping of the Champions Trophy and replacing it with GHL.
According to the FIH, the decision was made after more than 18 months of consultation and resea-rch overseen by a specially-formed working group for the project.
Mansoor said that it would not be wise to ask the FIH to change its plan adding that if something could be done now was only to request FIH to attach Champions Trophy with the GHL name.
He said that the current PHF President Leandro Negre was a great lover of Pakistan hockey and due to his special efforts Pakistan was given a chance through wild card entry to feature in the upcoming edition of Champions Trophy, scheduled to take place in London in June, this year. “But it was sad to see Pakistan turning down that offer and pulling out of the event. You may simply be told now to look at your own attitude,” he maintained.—APP