FIH Moves Samsung Champions Trophy
‘It was an extremely hard decision and one that we took with many regrets for the Pakistan Hockey Community’, FIH President Els van Breda Vriesman stated. ‘During the last few months we tried everything we could to keep the Samsung Champions Trophy in Pakistan. This was unfortunately impossible due to circumstances not related to hockey or sport and completely beyond the control of the FIH and the Pakistan Hockey Federation.’
Two of the qualified teams (Australia and Spain) informed the FIH that they would not be able to participate and Germany, Korea and Netherlands were unable to confirm their entry. Furthermore, the FIH Athletes Commission was advised by a number of athletes that they would not play in the Tournament.
Reserve countries England and Japan also declined the invitation. With six of the best eight hockey teams not participating in the Samsung Champions Trophy, one of the most important hockey tournaments in the world, the FIH had no option but to move the event.
The decision was based on the concern about the safety and security of the participating teams and the negative travel advice received from the foreign affairs departments of many of the prospective participants.
A new venue for the Samsung Champions Trophy 2007 has not been decided as yet. A decision will be taken in the next few days. In principle, the FIH will aim to keep the same dates for the Tournament.