Hockey league like IPL incorporated in the official calendar of the FIH: Hockey Update
International Hockey Federation (FIH) Chief Executive, Kelly Fairweather, told media today about incorporating the new hockey league into the official tournament calendar.
In an interview, the official stated that the federation wants a replica of Indian Premier League (IPL) in the format of Hockey League so as to gain as much fame as IPL did in its introduction in the cricket world.
The event will be more entertaining and the key towards converting it into a success is the addition of the world’s best players, according to Fairweather.
He also stated, "This is why we believe that a professional hockey league organised under a partnership between Hockey India and FIH is key to a new league's success. If a new league is to attract the best players, it must fit in with the top players'
other objectives of competing in the wider Olympic and international events."
According to the Chief Executive, the FIH officials were very thrilled with the new format of the league, which is proposed to take place in January 2013 and will be held for a period of six weeks.
"If a new league can be scheduled not to conflict with a players' international duties, then playing in the best league in the world would surely be beneficial to a player's performance development and hence, we would expect countries to be supportive.
Our discussions with the national associations and players have confirmed this," said the former South African player and coach.
Fairweather also admitted that the FIH was very impressed by the fame that IPL had earned. It is considered as an excellent model for a franchised league in India, where it originated. It is believed that this new league will also help hockey to earn
The most amusing part of this model is that it made sports to be attributed with entertainment. The complete schedule of the league is yet to be finalised, however, Fairweather is much optimistic with the initial response given to the introduced competition.
The fixtures will be set by FIH after discussions with Hockey India (HI) and sports marketing company.
Further in the interview, Fairweather also added that there will be a positive and spontaneous response from the commercial side in order to get the sponsors and players confirmed for the event.