“We will be awarding ranking points for matches and tournaments that are sanctioned by FIH.”
IN what can only be considered a tremendous boost, the International Hockey Federation is set to award ranking points for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup next year.
In revealing this FIH President Dr.Narinder Dhruv Batra and FIH CEO Thierry Weil, said this was in line with the revamp of the awarding article for world ranking points from 2020.
The duo were on a brief visit to Kuala Lumpur where they had an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to deliver the FIH President’s Award.
They were accompanied by AHF Vice President Dato Manjit Majid and AHF CEO Dato Tayab Ikram.
“We are revamping the manner in which points are awarded and more details will be revealed after the FIH Executive Board Meeting next month,” said Batra.
“For instance, we will be awarding ranking points for matches and tournaments that are sanctioned by FIH.”
When pressed further on the mechanics of the ranking points award system, Thierry explained that though it was similar to what Football does, the new system was more innovative and fool proof and will reflect the progress made by teams.
“There will be windows for test matches or events to be held and the matches need to be sanctioned by FIH in order to qualify for the award of points,” explained Thierry.
“There will obviously be a limit to the number of such matches and also tournaments as they must be fully compliant of FIH Regulations in the organisation of the matches or tournaments
“There will be points awarded for wins and points deducted for losing, so this will ensure transparent attention towards matches.
“For instance the Azlan Shah Cup will qualify as it is sanctioned by the FIH and is played in accordance to our tournament regulations with regards to registration of players.”
The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup was initiated in 1983 and this year saw a rather poor field in terms of participation due to the clash with the Pro League where the top ranked hockey nations were involved.
However with the award of ranking points, this will sure elevate the status of the tournament from next year and it will become a much sought after event to participate in, what more with the hosts Perak HA covering the board and lodging of participating teams.