Hockey India League will begin on January 22 next year and conclude on February 22, said HI CEO Elena Norman in Mumbai on Monday.
“It’s starting Jan 22 and will finish on Sunday, February 22. We are just working on the schedule which will be declared over the next couple of weeks,” said the HI CEO who is on a visit to the city to meet up with FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather on Tuesday.
“I have some meetings with the international federation. It’s a routine meeting about conducting (international) tournaments in India, their status reports. We have meetings only a couple of times a year,” said Norman who said the status report on the upcoming Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar will also come up.
The HI CEO said the introduction of two new city-based franchises in HI League in place of two others would not affect the league in any way.
“We have announced two new franchises (for Mumbai and Pune). I don’t think it will affect the league. The two new franchises are keen and excited,” she said.
The schedule for the Indian teams would be drawn up till the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio after the conclusion of the Asian Games in Incheon, Norman said.
“After the Asian Games we will have our schedule for the teams ready till the 2016 Olympics. We want to have an annual event every year in India. We like to plan things much in advance,” she explained.
Among those tournaments is the eight-team World League Round 2 for women in March for which a couple of venues have “been shortlisted”, the HI CEO said.
Asked about Mumbai being seen as one of the venues for an international fixture or tournament, Norman said,” Mumbai is not out of the mix currently.”
She indicated that Mumbai Hockey Stadium was lacking a practice pitch and falling short in some other areas too.
“We are trying to schedule more international matches, but over last two years the schedule was incredibly tight. Traditionally Delhi has the best facilities available,” she said.