(Photo: FIH)

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In response to the devastating earthquake that struck parts of Pakistan and India in October, the International Hockey Federation is organising a benefit match to aid those affected by the disaster.

In cooperation with the Indian Hockey Confederation, the benefit match will be held on Thursday, 8 December, at SDAT Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium in Chennai, India. The time is still to be confirmed.

The match will be held under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee after IOC President Jacques Rogge lent his support to the initiative during his visit to the FIH offices in Lausanne earlier this week.

FIH President Els van Breda Vriesman has also asked the United Nations for their support.

“The global hockey community has felt the pain of this terrible tragedy and this is our way of helping two of our most important member nations,” Els said.

“Hockey has always been an expression of Pakistan and India’s dynamic and energetic culture, and with cooperation between all parties and the patronage provided by the International Olympic Committee and the UN, this benefit match will be a great success.”

The location and timing of the match has been chosen to coincide with the Sahara Hockey Champions Trophy. The Champions Trophy tournament, the most prestigious men’s event in the world this year, will be held from 10-18 December in Chennai.

National associations from Pakistan, India, Australia, Spain, Germany and Netherlands competing teams have also given the match their backing, agreeing to allow their players to participate in a show of solidarity for two of the most successful members of the hockey ‘family’.

The format of the match and other details are still to be resolved, but it is expected that the two teams will be a composite of the six nations participating in Chennai.

Ten Sports, a broadcast partner of FIH, has agreed to televise the match live throughout Asia.