Kuala Lumpur to host Champions Cup

CHENNAI, NOV. 1. The inaugural men's Champions Challenge Cup, which was shifted from New Delhi by the International Hockey Federation due to security concerns expressed by some of the participants, will now be held on the same dates (December 8-16) at Kuala Lumpur.

Argentina, Belgium, India, Japan, Malaysia and South Africa will contest the first Champions Challenge, which will be a biannual event, with the winner promoted to next year's Champions Trophy to be held in August in Cologne (Germany). The dates have been adjusted by one day from the original schedule at the request of the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF).

The Challenge Cup will also be a preview to the 10th men's World Cup - to be held in Kuala Lumpur in February next year - as all the six teams in the Challenge Cup will figure in the World Cup too.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) and Indian Hockey Confederation (IHC) had mutually agreed to withdraw the event from New Delhi, as it was clear that only a few of the participating nations were able to travel to India under the current political circumstances.

Peter Cohen, FIH Hony. Secretary General, commented, ``Again the FIH has been required to respond quickly to challenging international political circumstances and we have again been fortunate to be able to call upon the services of a major hockey event organising nation as a stand-in host. The Champions Challenge is an important event to broaden the competitive hockey base at world level and we are reassured that the Malaysian Hockey Federation will set a high standard of organisation at the inaugural event.''

The FIH is continuing its investigations into the relocation and rescheduling of the first women's Champions Challenge, which was also scheduled to take place in New Delhi from December 8-16.

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