Hockey Correspondent

CHENNAI: Kuala Lumpur, and not Chennai, will host the next Champions Trophy hockey championships, shifted out of Pakistan for security concerns expressed by the participating teams.

The FIH debated at length the offer from both the countries when the event was pulled out of Lahore, and has decided on awarding the event to Kuala Lumpur.

All though there were several pointers in favour of India hosting it, the Board had eventually weighed the options and decided in favour of Kuala Lumpur, presumably taking advantage of the offer of Malaysian HF to hosting the teams with free board and lodgings

The event involving eight teams, including the host, will be held from November 29 to December 9.

“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.

Single pool

With Malaysia as new host, the Samsung Champions Trophy 2007 will be expanded to eight teams and the tournament will be played as a single pool competition.

The six original participants — Australia, Germany, Korea, Netherlands, Pakistan and Spain — will be joined by the host Malaysia and Great Britain.

The FIH decided to invite Pakistan to take part as some compensation for the disappointment of not being able to host the tournament. Malaysia is added as the host together with England (to be represented by Great Britain) because of its fifth ranking at the World Cup 2006.

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