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Home > Sports > Hockey > PTI > Report

Champions Trophy: IHF submits bid

September 07, 2007 19:15 IST

The Indian Hockey Federation has projected Chennai as the venue of the Champions Trophy hockey tournament in its bid to hold the event this year if FIH decides to shift it from Lahore [Images] on security grounds.

The IHF on Friday dispatched its bid for the event after going through all requirements listed by FIH, which had advised India and Malaysia to submit their bids before Sunday.

According to IHF sources, India in its bid has opted to hold the event, if allotted, in Chennai.

"Chennai and Chandigarh were in the run for hosting the event. Chennai has been selected by the IHF as the venue based on its experience in organising the Champions Trophy in 1996 and 2005," sources said.

"Moreover, the event has to be organised at short notice and all these teams, excepting Korea, had played here in 2005 and they should have no problem in acclimatising to the conditions. The success in the conduct of the ongoing Asia Cup with 11 countries will also weigh in India's favour," sources added.

The Champions Trophy is slated to be held in Lahore from December 1-9.

However, the security situation in Pakistan has prompted Australia and South Korea to withdraw from the event.

India and Malaysia were asked to submit their bids amid growing fears that some more nations may withdraw from the event in Pakistan because of security reasons.

Bob Davidzson, a Consultant of the FIH, has said that "the event will have to be cancelled if one more competing
team pulls out."

India's chances of hosting the elite event seem to be higher as it is currently ranked eighth in the world compared to Malaysia's 16th position.

However, sources said that the Malaysian Hockey Federation has decided to put up a higher bid than India in order to get the event allotted by the FIH.

A clearer picture would emerge when Prince Azlan Shah and other officials of Malaysian Hockey Federation arrive in Chennai on Sunday for the Asian Hockey Confederation meeting.

Meanwhile, Korean chief coach, Sung Jun Cho and captain, Seo Jong Ho, who announced their team's withdrawal from the event, said on Thursday that as an alternative venue they would prefer Malaysia over India.

"We prefer Malaysia as the venue as it takes lesser time to travel from Korea," they said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan chief coach Islahuddin Siddiqui, gave hints that this team could skip the tournament if it is shifted out of the country.

"PHF will hold discussions with the President and Prime Minister about participation in Champions Trophy if the event is shifted from Lahore," he said.

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