The Samsung Hockey World Cup Qualifier, Men, 2006 and the Rabobank Hockey Champions Challenge, Women, 2005 have been awarded to the Chinese and United States hockey associations respectively, it was decided at the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) Executive Board meetings in Auckland, which concluded on Saturday 27 March. The Samsung Hockey World Cup Qualifier will
take place in Guang Zhou province, China in March 2006 and the Rabobank Hockey Champions Challenge in Virginia Beach, USA in June 2005.

Els van Breda Vriesman, FIH President, commented, ‘Both event awards signify FIH’s intention to stage our major events in key geographic territories.

The importance of hockey development in China does not need reiteration ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 and we are delighted to accept a strong bid from China.’

‘Similarly, the USA has very strong participation in women’s hockey and it is both FIH’s and USFHA’s intention that the Rabobank Hockey Champions Challenge will add significant impetus to our common objective of hockey
development there. In addition to the unquestionable attraction of both countries, both bids were of excellent quality and we thank and commend the Chinese and United States hockey associations for the hard work and
consideration invested in the bids.’

Panama Hockey Association to become 115th FIH member association

The Panama Hockey Association has received FIH Executive Board approval for their application for provisional membership of the FIH. Its full membership is expected to be approved at the FIH Congress in Leipzig, Germany later this year, bringing the total number of FIH members to 115. In close cooperation with the Continental Hockey Federations the FIH is focused on the continuing growth of hockey worldwide.

Further details of this Executive Board meeting will feature in next month’s issue of FIH FREE WorldHockey Online monthly internet publication.

For further information contact:

Steven Morris
Marketing & Communications Manager
Federation Internationale de Hockey
Tel: +32 2 219 4537
Fax: +32 2 219 2761