Hockey: 62nd National Hockey Championship goes into action today

KARACHI: Third umpire video referral system will be introduced in the 62nd National Hockey Championship that pushes off at the Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium here on Friday (today). “The launch of the system is aimed at minimising the errors, if any, during the matches,” technical delegate of the country’s premier hockey championship former Olympian Qamar Ibrahim said while unveiling details of the event at the venue on Thursday. He maintained that under the system the two umpires’ supervising a match will be video linked with umpires’ manager to give fair advantage to the teams. The former Olympian said 20 teams comprising 15 departments, four provinces and Islamabad will vie for honours in the event which concludes on January 10. The teams have been drawn into four pools and after the league matches, top two teams from each pool will advance into the quarter-finals. The knock out matches from quarter-finals onward will be played under floodlights and televised live, he added.

He added that chief selector Abdul Rashid Jr and co-selectors would watch the event to identify talented players. Qamar said a disciplinary committee, which included technical delegate, umpires manager, chief selector and chief coordinator of the event, had been formed. Dilawar Bhatti has been named as umpires’ manager. He applauded the whole-hearted support of the Sindh government, particularly of additional chief secretary Ajaz Ali Khan and secretary sports and youth affairs Mohammad Rashid. Qamar said gold, silver and bronze medal winning teams will be handsomely rewarded besides “Best Player of the Championship”, “Top Scorer” and “Best Goalkeeper”. He said the PHF had invited all former Olympians and internationals to come and give their input for the uplift of game in the country.

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