FIH President Tayyab Ikram addressed the media in Muscat, Oman on his arrival in the city ahead of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers.
“The Sultanate of Oman has reached a great milestone by hosting a globally significant hockey tournament. Congratulations to His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq for his leadership in providing a platform for this sport within the region. The tournament represents a unique moment for Oman, which has taken this important initiative for the first time”, the FIH President said.
He also congratulated Oman Hockey President Dr Marwan Juma Al Juma and his team for providing a best-in-class infrastructure within a record time. He added: “The tournament is a dream come true for many athletes, given its importance to both their professional and personal lives.” He also emphasized the significance of having the world’s best teams participating in the tournament, including the World Champions, as it provides a great opportunity for everyone in Oman. The FIH President extended his gratitude to the hosts and all partners who have always lent support to provide the best platform for athletes. He lauded the venue’s state-of-the-art premises and smart infrastructure, noting that it has everything necessary to meet the requirements of top-level competition: “This venue can easily accommodate the professional requirements of broadcast and other necessities for top-level competition.”
“FIH has plans to build hockey academies worldwide, where teams can train and visit youth development centers. Oman will certainly be one of the priority countries in the FIH empowerment and engagement strategy and there will be an academy here too”, President Ikram revealed.
Oman Hockey President Dr. Marwan also joined the press conference and said: “The qualifying event is a very significant event for Oman. We are at the same level as other hosts. This stadium is one of the world’s best stadiums that can host international events and we are working with the expat communities in Oman to get the stadiums full.’
The FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifier in Muscat, Oman will be played from 15 to 21 January 2024. It involves eight teams -Canada, Chile, China, Germany, Great Britain, Malaysia, New Zealand and Pakistan – that will be competing for 3 spots for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.