India and Netherlands to host 2011 Men's and Women's Champions Trophy respectively

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India and Netherlands to host 2011 Men's and Women's Champions Trophy respectively
The Executive Board of the International Hockey Federation has decided in favour of India and the Netherlands who will stage the next edition of the Men’s and Women’s FIH Champions Trophy respectively. 
The Champions Trophy is one of the most important hockey tournaments in the calendar year which attracts the top six teams from around the world who compete with each other on a round robin format. The host team gets an automatic entry into the tournament along with the defending Champions, World Champions, and next three highest ranked teams in FIH rankings. The winner of Champions Challenge, which was introduced in 2001 to give a chance to low ranked teams to compete in the Champions Trophy, is usually included as the sixth member.
The Champions Trophy was the brainchild of the President, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Air Marshal Nur Khan in 1978, when he proposed this concept to the International Hockey Body. Pakistan hosted the inaugural edition in 1978 at Lahore where five of the best hockey teams of the world competed against each other on a round robin basis. The second edition was played in Karachi in 1980 after which it became a regular event in the hockey calendar.
The inaugural edition of the women’s Champions Trophy was held in 1978 in Amstelveen, Netherlands. This event was played after every two years until 1999 when it became a regular feature of women’s hockey calendar. The last Champions Trophy for women was played at Nottingham, England from the 11th to 18th of July where Argentina won their third consecutive trophy.
The FIH has decided to award the Champions Trophy to India after its successful staging of the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi. India will also be hosting the Commonwealth Games later this year due to which the infrastructure of hockey in the country has improved considerably. India hosted the last two editions of the Champions Trophy in 1996 in Madras and in 2005 in Chennai. However, India has not won any Champions Trophy till date. Moreover, the FIH awarded the Men’s edition of the Champions Trophy to the city of Monchengladbach, Germany starting from the 30th of July, 2010.
Till date, 32 Champions Trophy events have been played in men’s hockey out of which Australia have won on 10 occasions. Germany has won the championship on 9 different occasions while Netherlands won it on 8 different venues. Pakistan, which was the host nation for the first two Champions Trophy tournaments in Lahore and Karachi, won the event in 1978 and 1980. Pakistan won its third title in 1994 when the Champions Trophy was played in Lahore, Pakistan. The Spanish side won their only Champions Trophy title in 2004 at Lahore. Historically, Pakistan has hosted the Men’s Champions Trophy on 11 occasions which is the most by any nation.
The FIH in its Executive Board meeting decided to award the hosting rights of the women’s Champions Trophy in 2011 to the Netherlands. The country has hosted the women’s Champions Trophy on five occasions before in 1987, 1993, 2000, 2001 and 2006 which were all played in the city of Amstelveen. This also includes the 1987 inaugural Women Champions Trophy tournament. Netherlands won the championship on 5 different occasions out of the last 18 editions.
Out of 18 Women’s Champions Trophy events since 1987, the Australian side has won the event on 6 occasions which is more than any other team. This includes 5 wins in a row from 1991 to 1999. The Dutch side won the tournament on 5 occasions while Argentina won it in 4 different tournaments. They will be looking to defend their title in next year’s Champions Trophy in the Netherlands. Germany, South Korea and China managed to win the title on one occasion as well. The Netherlands hosted the Champions trophy on 5 occasions, Germany and Australia hosted it on 4 occasions while Argentina hosted the Champions Trophy thrice.  
The 2011 Champions Trophy will be a test for the host nation, where 8 times Olympic Gold medallists India, which have never won the Champions Trophy, will try to win it for the first time in their hockey history. The Netherlands, who was defeated in the final by the Las Leonas, will try to turn things around and stop the South Americans from winning their fourth consecutive Champions Trophy.



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