The International Hockey Federation (FIH) have recently assigned a task force to carry out work on the global awards which has seen a lot of anger and disappointment this year. However, FIH CEO Thierry Weil has revealed that even after carrying out these processes the results will be the same.
The FIH Award winners were revealed a few days ago and shockingly Indian players and coaches swept the awards after having a great Tokyo Olympics campaign. But this infuriated Belgium and Netherlands, teams which won the gold medal in Tokyo in Men’s and Women’s category. Both teams had not even a single representative in the FIH Awards despite being the Olympic champions. Hence fans all over the globe criticised the fans’ voting system for the FIH Awards. But the FIH CEO claimed that the results won’t change even if the awards weren’t handed according to fans’ votes.
“Our overall strategy at FIH is to put athletes and fans at the centre of everything we do. So, it is essential to give fans an option to express their views. If in this regard the current process is the right one or not, is something we will need to analyse of course,” Weil said in an interview published by FIH.
Votes from National Associations accounted for 50 percent of the total votes with the national team captains and coaches carrying out the voting procedure. The remaining part is accounted for by the fans and the players (25percent) and the last part is voted by the media (25percent).
Weil feels that fan engagement is an integral part of popularising the sport. He feels that it is good for the sport overall to have a varied fanbase. He also revealed how all the athletes winning their respective awards have also topped all three standing and even without the fans the awardees would have been the same.
“…clearly we need to involve the fans one way or the other. After all, thanks to this vote, we will have the opportunity to engage with almost 300,000 fans. This is not only good for India – where most of these fans are coming from – but for the growth of our sport overall and therefore the whole hockey community.
“Also, as we’ve mentioned on the day of the vote, all winning athletes have topped the standings in each of the three voting groups. In other words, even if fans wouldn’t have voted, the winning athletes would have been the same.”