Scottish Hockey is delighted to announce that Pakistan men will play their home matches of the International Hockey Federation’s (FiH) new game-changing Pro League at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) was looking for a neutral venue with a track record of delivering world-class hockey events for their home matches, and found Glasgow as the ideal location. The Glasgow National Hockey Centre, a 2014 Commonwealth Games legacy venue, will now host Pakistan’s home matches in the FIH Pro League from 2019 until 2023.
The men’s FIH Pro League will feature Pakistan, England, GB, Australia, India, Argentina, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, and the Netherlands, and will run from January until June each year from 2019 for a minimum of four years. The competition is a new initiative where the World’s top teams play each other in a series of televised globally home and away matches, leading to Olympic and World Cup qualification.
Entry for the top teams in the world was evaluated around meeting the three main objectives of the new FIH event portfolio – to generate a massive change in TV and media coverage for hockey; create big, bold, packed and loud events, and make a step change to increase future revenues for the sport.
Pakistan will also play five matches annually against Scotland men at venues across Scotland as part of the agreement. There will also be the opportunity for visiting teams to play competitive matches against Scotland as part of their preparation for matches against Pakistan.
The opportunity to host more world-class hockey in Glasgow is a major boost for the profile of hockey in Scotland, and of Scotland as an outstanding host for top hockey events.
We look forward to welcoming Pakistan, along with the likes of England and GB to Glasgow. England qualifies for the FIH Pro League as the nominated country and on the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, GB will compete in the Pro League, offering the opportunity for Scottish athletes to play in the competition.
Scottish Hockey and the PHF will also work together on community projects in Scotland to develop hockey within the Scottish-Pakistani community. This will offer a significant boost in growing the sport in Scotland at a grassroots level.
There will also be opportunities for Scotland’s umpires and officials to take part in matches across Scotland, officiating some of the best international teams in the world.
David Sweetman, CEO of Scottish Hockey, said: “We are delighted to host Pakistan in Glasgow for the FIH Pro League. We have a great desire to bring the biggest hockey events to Scotland and it’s with great pleasure that we’ll stage yet another world-class competition at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.
“This is a game-changer for hockey in Scotland and benefits each area of our strategic plan. There are enormous performance benefits for Scotland’s players, umpires and officials as part of this, and huge potential for growing hockey in Scotland. We’re looking forward to the very exciting years ahead for the sport in Scotland.”