The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on 18 April 2016 announced a new annual global home and away league, involving world's leading hockey nations, to be launched in 2019. It will replace Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Finals and Finals and the Champions Trophy.
The new league was designed to provide a regular calendar of must-see events played in packed stadia across the world throughout the year.
In the home and away league, the participating teams will be chosen on the basis of a clearly defined set of qualification criteria, which was designed to maintain the quality of the league and high standard events.
Aim behind moving away from Tournament Based Format
The changes were made with an aim of making hockey a global game. It was developed around the three main objectives of the new event portfolio and they are
• To generate a massive change in TV and media coverage for hockey
• Create big, bold, packed and loud events
• Make a step change to increase future revenues
Besides, FIH also decided that Champions Trophy -- held once in two years since 1978 -- will be scrapped and the 2018 edition in Amsterdam will be the last tournament.
For those nations not in the home and away league, the next tier of competition will remain similar to the current Hockey World League Round 1 and 2 events, played over two year cycles.
These proposals were approved by the FIH Executive Board in Lausanne, Switzerland earlier in April 2016. The decision was made after more than 18 months of consultation, research and development between numbers of stakeholder. It was overseen by a specially formed working group for this project.
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When: 18 April 2016