New Global Hockey League to change FIH structure

FIH president Leandro Negre today said the GHL will comprise seven teams and will be played on a home and away basis. This will take up four months of the sport’s international calendar from 2019, the FIH chief said.

The GHL, likely to begin in 2019, will take up four months in the international hockey calendar. (File photo)   -  Sandeep Saxena

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is set to introduce drastic changes in the structure of global competitions with a new Global Hockey League (GHL) to be introduced in 2019 in place of the Champions Trophy.

FIH president Leandro Negre today said the GHL will comprise seven teams and will be played on a home and away basis. This will take up four months of the sport’s international calendar from 2019, the FIH chief said.

“The Global Hockey League will be a transformation for international hockey,” Negre said during the ongoing 25th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup here. The FIH has acknowledged that it needed to bring changes to the current Hockey World League, which was introduced after the 2010 Olympics.

Negre said two major events, the Hockey World League’s Semifinals and Finals would no longer feature in the calendar when the GHL takes off, but the round one and round two tournaments that provide international exposure to the lowly—ranked nations will continue to be part of the new structure.

“We will also have stand-alone qualifiers for the Olympic Games and the World Cup,” Negre said, which in effect was the role being played until now by the Hockey World League semifinals.

The Champions Trophy will become a casualty of the new format. The Champions Trophy will be be confined to the history after the 2018 edition that has been allocated to Amsterdam (The Netherlands).