England reinstated in 1999 men's Champions Trophy

England's Champions Trophy future was uncertain following its late withdrawal from the 20th Men's Champions Trophy in Lahore, Pakistan due to safety reasons. But after an FIH Disciplinary Committee investigating the withdrawal concluded that England's decision was made on justifiable grounds, the FIH Council, meeting in November in Brussels, saw good cause to reinstate England in the 1999 Champions Trophy.

England will now join the top five teams from the 1998 Champions Trophy for the 1999 event in Brisbane, Australia.

The Disciplinary Committee, having carefully and thoroughly reviewed the matter, supporting documents and a presentation by representatives of the English Hockey Association, concluded that: "the withdrawal was the result of circumstances beyond the control of the English Hockey Association (and was made) having regard for their responsibility as a hockey association representing the best interests of their players and officials."

The Committee's report further stated it was "unanimously of the opinion that the decision to withdraw was made in good faith."

On being informed of the meeting's outcome, EHA Vice President Peter Webb commented: "The English Hockey Association is grateful for being able to explain to the Disciplinary Committee its reasons for withdrawal from the Champions Trophy in Lahore and appreciates the manner in which the proceedings were conducted." He added, "The EHA is pleased that the FIH were able to acknowledge that our decision was reasonably made."

Members of the FIH Disciplinary Committee were: Ruud Verbunt (Netherlands), Chairman; Eduardo Guelfand (Argentina), Steve Jaspan (South Africa) and Serge Peten (Belgium). The meeting began at 12 noon and lasted approximately two hours.

The EHA was represented by Vice President Peter Webb, Team Manager David Whittle, and High Performance Director Chris Spice, who presented EHA's case to the Disciplinary Committee. The presentation was followed by a brief exchange of questions and answers.

The English Hockey Association officially notified the FIH on 5th October that its team would not participate in the 20th Men's Champions Trophy. The English HA stated in a press release that its decision was taken "following consideration of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's travel advice (to British subjects) which deters 'non-essential visits' to the region and suggests that any visitors 'adopt a low profile'."