New Zealand to Host Hockey’s Champions Trophy in December

September 13, 2011

The men’s Champions Trophy that was stripped away from India by the FIH has been awarded to New Zealand where they will host the event in Auckland from 3-11 December.

The FIH statement puts to rest all the speculation that the former hosts would be reinstated after India were banned from staging the tournament due to administration problems in the country which iSportconnect reported a week ago.

What the tournament’s relocation to Auckland also means is that New Zealand, ranked 7 in the world, will replace India, ranked 9, in the Champions Trophy. India was originally allotted a place in the Champions Trophy as the host, but has now been extended an invitation to play as the top-seeded team at the Champions Challenge in November in South Africa.

Leandro Negre, FIH President, said: “It is always tough to move an event out of any country, but I have to say that the silver lining is the bid from New Zealand. New Zealand will put on a first-rate Champions Trophy and has been extremely flexible and professional given the tough circumstances and tight timeline. I know that they will do an excellent job hosting the event.”

New Zealand is honoured to get the opportunity to bring the top men’s hockey event of 2011 to Auckland.

Hilary Poole, Hockey New Zealand chief executive, said: “It is a privilege to be hosting this event. We have been overwhelmed by how quickly our key partners have come together to offer support to ensure this is a truly fantastic event. We have the structure in place and with work already underway, we are confident that we can deliver a world-class event in a short time frame.”

FIH competitions committee chairman Ken Read went to New Zealand for a site visit and came away with a positive impression.

“After seeing the facilities and infrastructure first hand I am very confident that Hockey New Zealand is prepared to host a great event for the athletes and supporters,” Read concluded.

The schedule of the 2011 Men’s Champions Trophy will be released in the upcoming weeks, but it is certain that the dates of December 3-11 will remain fixed.

In addition, a revised schedule for the Champions Challenge in South Africa will also be published. Both events will have eight-team pools in a nine-day tournament.

To see the original new news bulletin of India’s ban click here