At the recently concluded Hockey5s Asia Cup 2023 in Salalah, Oman, FIH President Tayyab Ikram engaged with women’s and men’s players, getting their valuable insights on various aspects of the game and the way it will evolve in the future.
Discussions primarily revolved around the teams’ experiences in their first major Hockey5s tournament, highlighting its ability to be conducted in a significantly smaller space and in a more cost-effective manner that will allow more people to play the sport at the highest level. The players expressed enthusiasm for this innovative format, especially beneficial for countries that have limited large-scale infrastructure at the moment.
The conversation touched on proposed penalty corner rule changes, with players unanimously voicing their preference towards maintaining the existing rules.
Exploring captains’ personal involvement in hockey, President Ikram learnt about their motivations, and admired their unwavering dedication to continue playing Hockey at the highest level, across various formats.
In a heartwarming display of unity and solidarity, all teams came together to extend a warm welcome to the Afghanistan team on their impressive return to international hockey after a hiatus of four years. This special moment of serendipitous harmony among the teams was underscored as the teams together presented a souvenir to the Afghanistan team captain, symbolising their shared commitment to Hockey and togetherness.
Dr. Merwan Juma Al Juma, Vice President of Asian Hockey Federation and President of Oman Hockey Association, extended his best wishes to all teams and mentioned that he looked forward to hosting the FIH Hockey5s World Cup Oman 2024 in January.
President Ikram expressed his gratitude to the teams for their dedication and said: “Afghanistan playing at the international stage again is a really marvellous achievement for Hockey and a lot of credit to Asia Hockey for the work they put in to make this possible. Very thankful to Oman Hockey Association for organising such a fantastic Hockey5s tournament, where the players were provided the best environment to succeed and we are looking forward to the first FIH Hockey5s World Cup being played here early next year.”