The International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre on Thursday said the world body was taken by surprise when it learnt that hockey was in danger of being excluded from the Olympics.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 event at the National Stadium here, Negre said it was high time the FIH promoted the sport in a better way. “The International Olympic Committee (IOC) vote was a wake-up call for us. We believe that hockey is very strong in the Olympics, but we need to see how we can make it better,” Negre said.

“The decision in Lausanne was more to do with procedure and even the people at IOC were surprised by the outcome. The report in this matter has not been finalised yet.”

In danger

Earlier this month, the IOC executive board had voted wrestling out of the core Olympics sports. Hockey was also in danger of being excluded from the mega event.

“We are in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics. But the fact that the IOC is looking at the status of various sports is good for us. We are taking it in a positive way. It tells us where we are and ensures we are not slipping,” said Negre.

The FIH president said the world body was trying to popularise hockey. “We are giving more responsibilities to the continental bodies. They are now in charge of developing the game in the continents. We have asked all the continental bodies to appoint a full time CEO, because the sport has to be run professionally.”

Negre said he was examining the possibility of organising a triangular series involving India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. He defended the one-sided matches in the HWL, saying there were some good contests in different phases of the event.

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