MUSCAT: Newly elected head of International Hockey Federation (FIH), Tayyab Ikram, promised a strong effort to boost the popularity of hockey across the world.
“I am committed to furthering hockey within the countries that are not as prominent on the international stage,” the top hockey administrator from Macao, told Oman Daily Observer in an exclusive interview.
Ikram said he would streamline the FIH efforts to improve hockey infrastructure in countries those lacking it.
“The FIH will require more finances to turn these aspects into reality. So we need to market the sport more effectively and find various revenue options to back the developmental goals,” the Pakistan-born official said.
Mentioning the immediate challenges before him, Ikram pointed out that the new projects, which is needed to boost the profile of the sport, always come with a financial bearing.
“Regarding new projects, you need to think out of the box financially. But we are trying to improve. The FIH is in the process of creating some resources by developing some new partnerships and involving various stakeholders.”
Tayyab opined that the five-a-side format of hockey will be the next big thing for the game in the coming years.
“The five-a-side hockey will be an exciting format of the game that will earn a lot of fans across the world with its eye-catching style. Oman will host the inaugural Hockey5s World Cup in Muscat.”
Ikram was elected as the FIH president after beating Marc Coudron of Belgium 79-47 in the voting conducted by the FIH Congress on Saturday.
“Of the 126 votes submitted by the member National Associations, Tayyab Ikram of Macao attained the required absolute majority of more than half the votes, receiving 79 votes to the 47 given to Marc Coudron of Belgium. The duration of the term of the new FIH President will be of 2 years in order to complete the mandate of previous FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra who resigned on July 18,” an FIH statement said.
“Hockey is my passion, hockey has changed my life and I’m thankful to hockey and the hockey family for this. I express my gratitude to all of you for the confidence you’ve given me today. I promise you that I will carry the message of solidarity and bring the FIH together,” Tayyab said after winning the vote.
GREAT ACHIEVEMENT FOR OMAN
Ikram said it was a great achievement for the Sultanate of Oman to get the hosting rights for the Hockey5s World Cup in January 2024.
“It is a new project of FIH. It was only played in Youth Olympics. I think it is not only Oman, but the GCC and Asia, that is honoured to host with this exciting format of hockey.”
“As the president of FIH, I personally congratulate His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, for this great undertaking to bring the world together for Hockey 5s World Cup.”
“I deeply appreciate the support from the Oman government and Oman Hockey Association.”
Ikram, also the chief executive of Asian Hockey Federation, wished the Oman Hockey Association and its chairman Dr Marwan bin Juma al Juma all success in hosting a memorable World Cup in Muscat.
“I am confident that the Oman Hockey Association team under the chairmanship of Dr Marwan al Juma will be able to deliver a memorable first edition of Hockey 5s World Cup. I promise all the support from the FIH and wish them all the best.”