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IHF planning six-nation tourney
July 30, 2003 21:34 IST
After a gap of more than six years, hockey lovers in the country can hope to witness some international action at home as the Indian Hockey Federation is planning to stage a six-nation tournament early next year.
The proposed tournament, to be held in Chandigarh, will be played in between the Afro-Asian Games in October and the Olympics qualifiers in March.
"Yes, we are planning to hold a six-nation tournament in January next year. But it is at a very nascent stage now," IHF secretary K Jothikumaran said.
"We have asked the Chandigarh administration, which came up with the proposal to stage the tournament, to send us an official communication after which we will request the FIH to finalise the dates," he said.
India has not held a multi-national hockey tournament at home since 1997. The country has not even staged a bilateral series since 2001 when Germany toured India for three Test matches.
Jothikumaran said though the names of the teams are yet to be finalised, IHF is keen to rope in two countries each from Asia and Europe besides Argentina for the tournament. But Jothikumaran made it clear that Pakistan would not be invited for the tournament.
"It depends which countries are available during that time. We will discuss about it with the FIH and Federations in other countries. But Pakistan are unlikely for the tournament," he said.
Attributing India's failure to host international tournaments on a regular basis to "lack of infrastructure", he said the IHF has asked Chandigarh administration to get ready with a floodlit stadium in case FIH approves its proposal.
"We don't have floodlit facilities in any centre and that is one of the reason why we are not staging many tournaments."
Jothikumaran, who has been appointed as one of the four judges for the next month's Champions Trophy, said he would be leaving for Amstelveen, venue for the tournament, on August 14.
"The players will be going on August 11, a day after the preparatory camp in Lucknow. I will be going on August 14 to be there as one of the judges."