Hockey: NZ to host Champions Trophy

New Zealand will replace India as hosts of this year's Champions Trophy in December, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) said today.

The world governing body of the sport last week took away India's hosting rights because of an administrative mess which may cost the country future events as well.

"It is always tough to move an event out of any country, but I have to say that the silver lining is the bid from New Zealand," FIH president Leandro Negre said in a statement.

"New Zealand will put on a first-rate Champions Trophy and has been extremely flexible and professional given the tough circumstances and tight timeline. I know that they will do an excellent job hosting the event."

India will also lose their automatic spot in the eight-team event as the hosts and will have to play in November's Champions Challenge in South Africa to qualify for the Deccember 3 to 11 tournament in Auckland.

The FIH rejected the Indian Sports Ministry-brokered peace agreement between rival factions Hockey India (HI) and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), saying there could not be more than one federation running the game.

The IHF was disbanded in 2008 after its secretary was caught on camera taking a bribe to select a player before being revived by a court order last year.

FIH backs HI and rejected the Sports Ministry-conceived formula of allowing a joint executive committee, comprising members from both factions, to run the game.

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