FIH to examine Competition structure, World Hockey Series
???? The FIH's new initiative, the World Hockey Series, will not go forward as initially planned the FIH Council confirmed in its meeting (25th September) in Milton Keynes, England.

"All of the essential elements did not fall into the place at this time," said FIH President, Juan Angel Calzado. The FIH cited insufficient television and sponsor interest, a smaller than expected interest on the part of member associations, the inability of certain prominent hockey playing nations to participate in the inaugural year and the concern that under these conditions, the competition would not be sustainable over the long term.

On the basis of recommendations from the FIH Competitions and Marketing & Promotion Committees, the Federation has decided to evaluate its existing competition structure in conjunction with the proposed WHS. A working party will be charged with the task and will examine all relevant elements. However, it is not expected that any changes will be implemented before 2000.

The FIH received positive responses from 34 countries interested in participating in the series, mainly those that do not regularly take part in major FIH events, and achieving the goal of more meaningful competition for these nations will be a task force priority.

Mr. Calzado added, "There is certainly some disappointment that we have been so far unsuccesful in establishing the World Hockey Series. "However, having heard the concerns of the member associations, it is more important to pause here and make a proper evaluation of the situation to make sure we move forward in the interests of and with the full support of our member associations so that we can see benefit to our sport and our members at all levels."