LUCKNOW: The federation Cup (Hockey) rechristened Pepsi Trophy now finally gets off at the Dhyan Chand Stadium about 22 km from here Saturday morning with a match between national champions railways and Punjab the third place winners.

Eight quarter-finalists of the last senior nationals held in Jammu in December will compete in the tournament planned to provide greater competition among lop teams of the country on Astro-turf surface.

The teams are pooled into two groups Railways Punjab Uttar Pradesh and Hyderabad being group ‘A’ and Indian Airlines services Bombay and Patiala in group ‘B’.

Though the idea for such a tournament being organised regularly by many other associations (football basketball volleyball) was mooted during the gwalior nationals in 1989 it took two years to become a reality in hockey.

The inaugural would attract more attention because IHF officials and selection committee may sit through most of the matches as part of their talent hunt for the Olympic qualifying tournament to be held in Auckland New Zealand in October.

THF president R Prasad and national coach Balkishan Singh have said they would be searching for new talent in the tournament to be included in the second phase of the Indian camp in preparation for the Olympic qualifying round.


Article extracted from this publication >> May 3, 1991