In a ceremony held today, the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) President HRH Prince Abdullah Ahmad Shah and Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) President Dato’ Sri Subahan Kamal formally signed the hosting agreement that confirms the hosting of the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy 2016 in Kuantan, Pahang State, Malaysia, from 20 to 30 October 2016.
The Malaysian Hockey Confederation is one of the most experienced and prolific event hosts within the continent, together with India, regularly hosting FIH and AHF events in addition to the internationally renowned Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and Sultan of Johor Cup annual invitational tournaments.
The Men’s Asian Champions Trophy 2016 will be the third major international event to take place at Kuantan’s Wisma Belia Stadium since its completion in 2012, after a Women’s Hockey World League Round 2 event in 2012 and a Men’s Hockey Champions Challenge in 2014. The stadium facilities are of the highest quality, with two blue pitches located within the same complex and a seating capacity of 8.000 at the main pitch.
Scheduled two months after the Olympic Games, the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy 2016 will allow India, Korea, Japan, China and the Malaysian hosts to challenge the current title holders and winners of the last two editions of the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy, Pakistan.
First introduced in 2011 to create an opportunity for Asian teams to gather more high-level competition experience, the Asian Champions Trophy has taken place three times so far, for the last time in 2013. In past Asian Champions Trophy editions, Pakistan has been the most successful team with two Asian Champions Trophy golds and a silver, while India has occupied the top of the podium once. This year’s Malaysian hosts have medalled in each previous edition, taking bronze in 2011, 2012 and 2013, while the team from Korea will be making their Asian Champions Trophy debut this year.
The Asian Champions Trophy 2016 will follow a round robin format, with each team playing each other once. The top four teams after the round robin phase will advance to semi-finals, then finals, while the teams ranked fifth and sixth in the pool will play off once for fifth place. A detailed match schedule will be published by the Asian Hockey Federation in the coming weeks.
The Asian Hockey Federation can also confirm that through a recent decision by the FIH Executive Board, Asian Champions Trophy events are included in the continental ranking element of the FIH World Ranking system in the future. The continental rankings for Asia will be calculated across a four-year cycle, taking into account the results of Asian Games, Asia Cup and Asian Champions Trophies held during that time.
This also means that because the Asian Champions Trophy will not only be part of the system that determines continental ranking but will be included in the Qualification Systems for future Olympic Games and World Cups any team that does not play in the Asian Games / Asia Cup and Asian Champions Trophy cannot qualify for the relevant Olympic Games or World Cup.
Asian Hockey Federation President HRH Prince Abdullah Ahmad Shah said, “The Asian Hockey Federation is delighted to play this showcase competition at the excellent facilities of the Wisma Belia Stadium in Kuantan, in front of the famously passionate Malaysian fans, and to work with the Malaysian Hockey Confederation.”
Malaysian Hockey Confederation President Dato’ Sri Subahan Kamal said, “It is an honour to host Asia’s most prestigious event. Regionally, hockey is seen as a key sport, one that advocates unity and friendship. As such, the tournament is not merely a competition of ability but a platform to build strong relationships between countries in the Asian region. We aspire to do our best in making this tournament a success.”
Asian Hockey Federation CEO Dato’ Tayyab Ikram said, “We will work very closely with the Malaysian Hockey Confederation to make this event world class in all aspects, and are looking forward to a tournament that shows off the very best of Asian hockey.”
In a ceremony held today, the AHF President and MHC President formally signed the hosting agreement (Photo: MHC)
Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Kuantan, Malaysia
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