Lausanne, Switzerland: The FIH Executive Board (EB), chaired by FIH President Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra, took advantage of the FIH Pro League Grand Final to hold its second meeting of the year in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on 28-29 June.
While acknowledging that, like for every project coming to birth, some areas will require adjustments, the EB expressed its high satisfaction with the first edition of FIH’s global home and away league. The top level of play, the regular frequency of high-quality matches, the abundance of home games and, for some teams, the attendances were assessed as particularly positive outcomes.
The EB also confirmed that a long-term plan for a “Pro League 2” – no official name has been given yet – would be established before the end of the year.
The next big FIH events will be the FIH Olympic qualifiers, which will take place end October-early November. The winners of these qualifiers will join Japan and the continental champions at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The EB decided to put together a 4-year plan for the development of a global Hockey 5s event which will involve continental qualifications leading to a World Cup in the future. This plan will be finalised later this year.
FIH global supplier Polytan reported on their progress made in developing a dry hockey turf. Last year, FIH had revealed its will to find an alternative to watered pitches by 2024, therefore contributing significantly to a more sustainable environment. This process will be conducted with all relevant stakeholders being consulted - first and foremost the athletes - with a view to reach the same quality as the current water-based fields.
Finally, the EB decided to stage the 2020 FIH Congress in India.
It was the first EB meeting of Clare Prideaux (AUS) - recently elected as President of the Oceania Hockey Federation (OHF) - in her capacity of FIH EB member.
The next EB meeting will take place on 8-9 November.