Successful FIH Executive Board Meetings in New Delhi
One of the major agenda points was the progress report on both the project and the 2010 Men’s World Cup, which will take place in New Delhi, India after the event was launched on 7 November during a special press conference. The Chairman of the recently formed World Cup Governing Board, Andre Bolhuis, reported on the first meeting. The next meeting will take place in February 2008.
Furthermore, the FIH Executive Board received the information from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) that the Major Dhyan Chand National Hockey Stadium in New Delhi will be ready for use in October 2009. This is exactly one year before the start of the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and gives the FIH the possibility to test the stadium prior to the 2010 World Cup. The FIH Executive Board also confirmed the cooperation with the Indian Agency Commune for sponsor finding and communication.
‘The Project Promoting Indian Hockey showed major progress, FIH President Els van Breda Vriesman stated. ‘The 2010 World Cup is a good example of one of the outcomes of this project. The FIH is the responsible body. Future partners of both the Indian Project and the 2010 World Cup should be aware that the efforts and money they are investing will be 100 percent for these projects and will be controlled by the FIH.’
During the FIH Executive Board meetings, all committee chairpersons reported about the activities of their committee in the last six months. The FIH Executive Board was extremely pleased with the report of Renita Gerard, chair of the restructured Athletes Committee. The former Olympic Gold Medalist from Australia has the committee completely in place and extended the members to four. Gerard, German Michael Green and Dutch Marten Eikelboom are joined by South African Lindsay Wright-Carlisle.
One of the major decisions of the FIH Executive Board was the allocation of the 2008 FIH Statutory Congress. This biennial gathering of all National Associations and FIH Committees will take place in Los Angeles, USA in November 2008. The FIH will organize this week of important meetings in cooperation with USA Field Hockey and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). USOC guaranteed the FIH that all participants will be able to obtain a visa for the USA when their application is received in time.
The FIH Executive Board stated that the FIH will be back to Pakistan to for a major event as soon as the political situation would allow doing so. Due to unfortunate non sports related issues, the FIH had to make the decision to move the 2007 Samsung Champions Trophy from Lahore, Pakistan to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (29 November – 9 December 2007).
The FIH Executive Board also discussed the allocation of future events. USA Field Hockey will host the 2009 Women’s Junior World Cup at Harvard University in Boston. Malaysia and Singapore will co-host the 2009 Men’s Junior World Cup. In order to directly qualify both organizers for the event, the FIH Executive Board decided that the 2009 Men’s Junior World Cup will exceptionally be played with 20 instead of 16 teams.
A new World Level event will take place in Dubai, UAE early 2009. The best eight men’s and best eight women’s teams of the world will participate in this new event.
The FIH will also actively participate in the ‘Zambia Project Sports for Hope’, a cooperation between the IOC and different International Federations. The FIH will assist in the construction of a hockey pitch at a newly constructed national sports centre in Zambia, which will be used for the 2011 All African Games. Fundraising for the Zambia Project will be done at the 2008 Samsung Champions Trophy women in Monchengladbach, Germany and the 2008 WorldHockey Champions Trophy men in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Another important decision for the development of hockey was the raise of the administration grants for the five Continental Federations. The FIH allocates these grants to assist the continental bodies with the development in the continents and the organization of regional tournaments.
The FIH Executive Board was pleased to announce that the Pablo Negre Trophy will be awarded to England Hockey. The Trophy is awarded annually by FIH to the National Association which has by its activities, initiatives and sportsmanship served best the course of hockey and made it more popular during the previous two years. England Hockey received the award for its excellent work during the 2006 FIH Congress in London and the revival of the organization structure in England Hockey.
The next FIH Executive Board meeting will be held in March 2008 at the FIH Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.