The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is looking for the newly created Hockey India League to act as a ‘key fixture’ in their calendar, as the federation looks to have hockey played throughout the year.
The Hockey India League finished its first season in February this year, with five teams competing.
Speaking exclusively to iSportconnect, Kelly Fairweather, the CEO of FIH commented on the inaugural event: “The first one was really exciting. It was a bit of an unknown and it is no secret that it is based on the IPL model.
“There were five teams, next year we will have six. There were over 50 million viewers and it went out to 83 countries. There were over ten million viewers over the semis and the final so it is heading in the right direction.
“There is also a big following on Facebook and Twitter.”
One aspect of the game that Fairweather wants to see improved is the continuity of tournaments throughout the year, beyond the Olympic cycle.
Fairweather said that the Hockey India League would be crucial to this strategy: “To come back to our philosophy of trying to have hockey throughout the year, this is going to be a key fixture in that strategy.
“Will we have more leagues like this? We have received a lot of interest. There is already the European Hockey League which has been going for five years and we have received interest from other parts of the world.
“At the moment we want to bed down the Hockey India League in 2014, we have our World Cup in Holland in 2014, which is a joint World Cup.
“Then we are looking at expanding a women’s equivalent of the Hockey India League, but that will probably be ready in 2015-2016.”
Fairweather was speaking exclusively to iSportconnect about the Hockey India League, the success of London 2012 and why the FIH thinks social media is the way forward for second-tier sports. To read the full interview, click here >>
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