Hockey Junior World Cup To Be Held Every Two Years

**Bhubaneswar:** The Hockey Junior World Cup will henceforth be held every two years, informed International Hockey Federation (FIH) CEO Thierry Weil at a press conference held at the Kalinga Stadium here on Saturday.

“The decision has been made that the Junior World Cup will be held every second year. We need to support youth in sport and to give every generation the chance to participate in a huge World Cup. If you don’t do it every second year you will lose a generation in between,” said Weil.

He opined that it will be a built up for the players, provide platform for them to meet other players from around the world and prepare them for events similar to the ongoing Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018.

Weil thanked the Government of Odisha to help FIH promote the game, the people of Bhubaneswar and fans coming to the fantastic Kalinga Stadium to not only cheer the Indian team but also to support all the teams.

Talking about exhibition games on Hockey 5s to be held in Centre of big cities from 2019, Weil said FIH has received offers from big companies from around the world who are eager to support Hockey 5s. The FIH will analyse the offers and by end of February 2019 will take a decision in which way the Hockey 5s will be conducted.

Weil further informed that the FIH will be working on a new ranking system, which will be simpler and straight forward. Besides, he also informed about launch of an international calendar which will have the schedule all major games or events to be held in the next four years.

Talking about the state of the game in Pakistan, Weil said he had personally discussed about the situation with a new FIH Executive Board member Shahbaz Ahmad, former field hockey player from Pakistan. Hockey is not dead in Pakistan, they participate in every big event and they will participate in the Pro League in 2019 as well.

“Shahbaz expressed that we need to bring events back into Pakistan. It is a sport which is played around the globe by a team but is not played in his home country. It is extremely difficult to get the support and, especially fan support if they can’t see their team playing in their own country. We all know there are some reasons for that,” he added.

Weil, however, added that the FIH will work on a plan to bring the game back into Pakistan.

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