A first-of-its-kind Global Hockey League (GHL), under the flagship of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), will make its debut in 2019. Seven teams will take part in the competition, confirmed FIH president Leandro Negre on Friday.
The existing Hockey Champions Trophy, one of the main attractions of the FIH calendar, will, however, not be around when the GHL gets under way. The final edition of the Champions Trophy will be in 2018 in Amsterdam.
Also, the Hockey World League playoffs will be a thing of the past once the Global Hockey League gets under way. Come 2019, only the first two rounds of the Hockey World League will be in effect.
"The Global Hockey League will be a transformation for international hockey," Negre was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India. "We will also have stand-alone qualifiers for the Olympic Games and the World Cup," he added, promising to bring a lot more changes to the current Hockey World League.
The duration of the GHL is expected to be around four months. In the first edition, the seven participating countries are also assured of being a part of the competition for the next four years. Matches will take place on a home and away basis.
Negre also added that from 2021, the Global Hockey League will expand to nine times, with the process of promotion and relegation being introduced from 2023.