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Champions Trophy hockey in Malaysia
September 27, 2007 19:21 IST
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has decided that Malaysia will host the 2007 men's Samsung Champions Trophy.
The tournament will be played at the National Hockey Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, from November 29 to December 9. The same venue hosted the 2002 men's World Cup.
"We are happy that the Malaysia Hockey Confederation was able to accept the responsibility to host this important event," FIH president Els van Breda Vriesman stated.
"We know that time for the preparation is short but we are confident that the Samsung Champions Trophy will be a success under the organization of Malaysia."
Malaysia agreed to host the event after the FIH decided that it was impossible to play the tournament in Lahore [Images], Pakistan, because of security concerns expressed by some of the teams.
With Malaysia as new host, the tournament will be expanded to eight teams and played as a one-pool competition. The six original participants -- Australia, Germany [Images], Korea, the Netherlands, Pakistan and Spain -- will be joined by hosts Malaysia and Great Britain.
The FIH decided to invite Pakistan to participate as some compensation for the disappointment of not being able to host the tournament.
Malaysia is added as the host together with England [Images] (to be represented by Great Britain) because of its fifth ranking at World Cup 2006.
President Vriesman said: "This is a fair and just outcome taking all factors into account and ensures the top teams in the world will be able to utilize the tournament as part of their preparations for the Beijing [Images] Olympic Games."
The FIH will release the match schedule in the next couple of weeks.