FIH mulling to introduce club World Cup in India: Negre
New Delhi: After football and cricket, hockey is the latest sport which is set to introduce a world championship of clubs with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) mulling a Club World Cup to be held in India from next year.
Inspired by the success of the inaugural Hockey India League (HIL) and the potential of the game in India, FIH president Leandro Negre on Thursday said that the world body is now planning to hold the hockey Club World Cup in India for the first four years.
"I would like to inform you that the FIH is planning to hold the Club World Cup in India. We are working on it from last year but it is too early to say anything about the event. My personal wish is to start the tournament next year, but the proposal is still under discussion," Negre told reporters here on Thursday.
"The proposal is to hold the Club World Cup for the first four years in India and then shift it to other nations. We will like to have a contract with a nation for four years but it can be trimmed," he said.
"It will be an eight team competition winners of club competitions from five continents, the winner of HIL and two wild card entrants," he said elaborating on the format of the proposed event.
The FIH chief was full of praise for the HIL and said the world body was serious about the potential of the league.
"The FIH is very clear about the importance of HIL and that's why we are allotting the window to it," he insisted.
"HIL is very important for the youth of Indian and future of Indian hockey. This competition will be a new milestone for the future of hockey," he said.