Europe planning hockey league on lines of HIL


Ranchi, Feb 22 (IANS) International hockey federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre said that Europe is planning a professional tournament like the Hockey India League (HIL).

“The players and officials have been left impressed by the way HIL is organised. Most foreign players speak highly of it. They want to have something similar in Europe offering decent money,” said Negre on the sidelines of the HIL semifinals here Saturday.

The highly competitive Euro Hockey League is held over six months but is not as lucrative as the two-year-old HIL, which is only month long. Dutch legend Teun de Noojer is the highest paid player in the HIL, pocketing $87,400.

“The European Hockey Federation will decide when to host the event,” said Negre when asked about the timing of the event.

In the same media interaction, the FIH boss also confirmed that they have signed an eight-year contract with Star Sports for their global broadcast and marketing rights, starting 2015.

“Star will broadcast our events around the world, barring Argentina. That is because we have got an existing contract with Argentina,” said Negre, choosing not to divulge the amount of money involved in the deal.

Negre added that the pact will enable FIH to reduce its dependency on the funds from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“We have always relied on IOC funding. This deal will reduce their funding to one-third.”

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