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Hockey: India men to join FIH Pro League from 2020

NEW DELHI: India's males's hockey crew will sign up for the FIH Pro League from 2020, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) confirmed on Tuesday after Hockey India (HI) agreed to fill the open slot left vacant via Pakistan's withdrawal from the league's ongoing inaugural edition.

"It’s great that India will join the FIH Pro League already next year. There is such a passion for hockey in the country that it will add a lot to our newest competition," FIH CEO, Theirry Weil, said in a remark.

After its decision to withdraw from the 2019 edition of the Pro League, India males have been set to go back in 2021. But the decision was complicated via an 12 months as there are simplest eight countries competing as a substitute of the nine the league's structure entailed.

"We had discussed (about joining) at the end of last year, but that was for 2021," said Hockey India's CEO, Elena Norman, whilst speaking to "But now because of the free position, because of Pakistan (opting out), they (FIH) had sent us an invitation to join from 2020."

The FIH press free up said that the decision of India's return "was unanimously supported by the other participating National Associations."

The FIH Pro League sees the highest countries compete with each other across the 12 months on a home-and-away basis. In the edition sooner than an Olympic 12 months, the highest 4 teams from the Pro League undergo to play the Olympic qualifiers.

However, there was no mention in the FIH press free up about India's girls's crew that has also stayed clear of the continued Pro League in its inaugural season, which began in January 2019.

"This (men's team joining the league) was purely because of the open slot for 2020. From 2021, they (FIH) may look at an additional women and men's team joining," Elena added.

India have lately appointed Graham Reid as the new Head Coach of fellows's crew. He is expected to enroll in via the end of this month.

"We have got a new coach on board. He will speak about the Pro League once he gets involved," Elena said.

Hockey India had previous maintained that both its males's and girls's crew had a better chance of qualifying for the Olympics throughout the Hockey Series. But it resulted in the teams shedding the most important FIH score issues.

The Pro League offers extra score issues than the Hockey Series, which can turn out decisive when it comes to teams making it to the Olympic qualifiers or the attracts of the Olympic qualifiers.

In addition, the FIH announced positive changes to the structure of the Pro League from subsequent 12 months.

"Furthermore, FIH would like to thank all participating National Associations who, by agreeing on a common scheme for the 2020 and 2021 calendars, have once again shown the solidarity of the global hockey community and their utmost will to grow the sport together," the FIH CEO added.

Instead of being spread throughout the 12 months, from subsequent 12 months the league can be played throughout the first six months of the 12 months.

Additionally, the home-and-away system will now be "split over two consecutive seasons".

It has been executed to handle the monetary and logistical issues of the nationwide associations, which was also the rationale at the back of Pakistan's withdrawal.

"In 2020, Team A will host Team B twice within a couple of days. In 2021, Team B will host Team A twice within a couple of days," the FIH defined the modified home-and-away rule.

"This scheme reduces by half the travel of the teams compared to the current format, therefore decreasing costs for teams, benefiting athletes’ welfare and reducing the impact on the environment," the FIH added.

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