Lausanne: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has extended the second edition of the FIH Hockey Pro League till June 2021 due to the ongoing uncertainties surrounding the covid-19 global health pandemic.
Season 2 of the league was initially set to run from January to June 2020. Around one third of the planned matches were completed between January and early March, before the escalating COVID-19 crisis brought the competition to a standstill.
The FIH has also announced that the window for season 3 of the league will be from September 2021 to June 2022.
The decision to spread the Pro League season over a longer time period will allow for greater flexibility in terms of the scheduling, reducing match congestion in the first half of the year whilst also helping to ensure that international hockey remains highly visible via broadcast for much of the year, said the FIH.
Speaking about the decisions, FIH Chief Executive Officer Thierry Weil said: "We all believe we have found the correct path forward regarding the current edition of the FIH Hockey Pro League, giving ourselves additional time to play the matches whilst also relieving pressure on both the athletes and the calendar for 2021.
"Looking ahead to the remainder of the 2020-21 Season and beyond, the changes that will be introduced for Season 3 are another significant step in the evolution of this fantastic competition," he added.