Preparations continue in earnest
for 18th Mens Champions Trophy
The Olympic Hockey Competition in Atlanta not only determined which teams would bask in the glow of Olympic glory for the next four years, it also finalised the field for the 18th Mens Champions Trophy, scheduled for 7-15 December 1996 in Madras, India. ?? Joining India (hosts), Pakistan (world champions) and Germany (previous Champions Trophy winners), are the three Olympic medal winning teams, the Netherlands, Spain and Australia, which qualified by virtue of their finish in Atlanta.

Tournament organisation has been under the watchful eye of the FIH, both from Brussels and in person. FIH Technical Manager Adrien Peters visited Madras in September to assess the tournaments progress on all counts. Based on Mr. Peters report, the FIH affirmed the continuing organisation and approved the final match schedule, while still expressing concern about the inadequacy of certain facilites. Floodlighting will not be in place for the tournament, thus necessitating all matches be played in daylight hours.

The tournament also marks the beginning of the FIHs official working relationship with API Television, the FIHs television distribution representatives. The London-based company was awarded exclusive TV rights for a four-year period to a package of FIH tournaments, which they in turn sell and distribute. The Champions Trophy is the first event covered under the contract. In one deal already negotiated, API TV have sold sattelite rights for Asia and the Indian Subcontinent to ESPN Asia.

Within India, host broadcaster Doorarshan will be broadcasting all of the tournaments 18 matches live on the national network, as well as providing the feed for international distribution. And on another television note, following its succesful implementation during the Altanta Olympic Games, the FIH is once again asking teams to adhere to a policy of "no white below the knees" during the Champions Trophy. This policy makes it easier for viewers, particularly those watching television, to follow the white ball.