Hockey’s ‘20-year pass’ to Olympics

The Hockey Paper - - FRONT PAGE -

HOCKEY will be safe from the threat of Olympic ex­clu­sion for the next 20 years, ac­cord­ing to world hockey pres­i­dent Narinder Ba­tra.

The sport was one of five in the fir­ing line dur­ing an In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee ses­sion in 2013.

Wrestling was ini­tially dropped from the Tokyo Games while hockey was saved in the penul­ti­mate round of vot­ing and re­mained in the 2020 pro­gramme.

Since then, hockey chiefs have at­tempted to make the sport more com­mer­cially vi­able and tele­vi­sion friendly.

And Ba­tra, elected to the FIH top job in Novem­ber, told The Hockey Pa­per: “It will be 16-20 years be­fore hockey could be ex­cluded, the way hockey is go­ing and the view­er­ship num­bers that are com­ing up. We are much fur­ther ahead than other sports.”

Sally Mun­day, Eng­land Hockey’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, said at the time: “Be­ing an Olympic sport is like a lit­tle bit of fairy dust.”

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