Munday: Why I welcome the FIH review

LVHTC

Sally Munday, Chief Executive of England Hockey and Chief Operating Officer of Great Britain Hockey, has welcomed the International Hockey Federation’s review of international hockey events from 2019.

The FIH have announced that a new calendar will come into place in 2019, with a global home and away league to include the world’s leading nations. There are three main objectives – to generate a huge change in TV/media coverage, create large-scale events and look to increase future revenues.

Munday (who was involved in the FIH working group on the new events portfolio) said, “First of all we believe the FIH is absolutely correct in looking strategically at the international calendar, it is the cornerstone of the global game and a huge amount of time has now been invested into constructing the best possible event portfolio to meet the objectives.

“They have made great strides, and on behalf of both England and GB I look forward to working further with them to translate these plans into action. We’re in a good place now after a long consultation process and it is really exciting to see the plans approved.”

Before the new calendar comes into place, England hosts the Men’s and Women’s Hockey Champions Trophy this year, World League semi-finals in 2017 then the Women’s World Cup in 2018. All three events, combined with ever-growing participation, sponsor interest & attendances and a new partnership with BT Sport, means the current calendar of events creates an excellent platform to build from.

Munday said, “The FIH have seen the great work that National Associations, partners, broadcasters, sponsors and players have undertaken putting on World Cups, World Leagues and Champions Trophies among others, and the new calendar will look to build on the commitment that the NAs have already made to grow the interest and visibility of the sport.

“We are right behind the FIH in their desire to take the game forward, and the next step for us as a National Association is to discuss the changes with players, clubs and other associations with the intention of building hockey both now and in the future.”

The FIH’s press statement outlined the new changes as follows: ‘While Hockey World Cup qualification will remain similar to the current system, Olympic qualification will change, pending approval of the International Olympic Committee’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualification criteria.

‘The introduction of this new portfolio of events means that there will no longer be Hockey World League Semi-Finals and Finals, while the last Hockey Champions Trophies will take place in 2018.

‘The proposals were approved by the FIH Executive Board in Lausanne, Switzerland earlier this month. The decision was made after more than 18 months of consultation, research and development between a number of stakeholders, overseen by a specially formed working group for this project.

‘This included correspondence with more than 700 individuals, including: athletes; National Associations; Continental Federations; the International Olympic Committee; Association of Summer Olympic International Federations; major broadcasters; individuals at Continental Federation congresses; officials and umpires; FIH Committee and Panel members and FIH staff.

‘In addition to this, internationally renowned integrated audit, tax, consulting and financial advisor Deloitte provided extensive support in developing the financial modelling for the new portfolio of events.

‘It is predicted that the increased commercial potential of implementing the new structure will generate considerably more value for the sport, which will filter down into all levels, including new and developing hockey nations, from elite to grassroots level.’