Calzado reconfirms support
for merger policy
In a recent letter to the countries still to consolidate, FIH President Juan Angel Calzado reiterated his support for the merger of men's and women's national associations where both exist in a country. ?? It was during the November 1996 Congress that International Hockey Federation adopted as formal policy its previously unofficial philosophy to encourage merger between men's and women's hockey associations. At that time, there were still eight countries with separate national governing bodies for men's and women's hockey.

Since then, the Hockey Association and the All England Women's Hockey Association have confirmed their decision to merge and create the English Hockey Association, effective June 1st of this year.

In his letter to the remaining seven countries -- Australia, Bermuda, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Malaysia and Trinidad & Tobago -- Mr. Calzado said: `No doubt there will be difficulties in the process of merging, and a positive attitude and goodwill on both sides will be essential to overcoming these difficulties.'

Referring to the English merger, he continued: `To encourage you in the task ahead, I would like you to know that a country, which seemed at first to have more difficulties than any other in achieving unity, has finally solved its internal differences and succeeded in forming one body.'

The FIH timetable for final merger is separated into two stages. By the 1998 FIH Congress to be held in Utrecht in the Netherlands, the countries yet to merge are expected to be represented by one umbrella organisation for men's and women's associations.

Final merger is mandatory no later than the FIH Congress in 2000.