Changes to hockey format should ‘reinvigorate’ game

Sweeping changes to reinvigorate the global field hockey game will see the end of the outdated World League and Champions Trophy as of 2019, the Lausanne-based International Hockey Federation (FIH) has reported.

Changes to hockey format should 'reinvigorate' game
File photo: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP

After some 18 months of exhaustive negotiations, consultations and debates with all of hockey's stakeholders, the FIH have settled on a three-tier streamlined new format.
“Designed to provide a regular calendar of must-see events played in packed stadia across the world throughout the year, a new annual global home and away league involving the world's leading hockey nations will complement the Hockey World Cup and Olympic Games tournaments,” the FIH said on its website.
“The introduction of this new portfolio of events means that there will no longer be Hockey World League semifinals and finals, while the last Hockey Champions Trophies will take place in 2018,” it added.
FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather predicts the move will create fan bases, television interest and will see the sport move forward.
“This is a historic decision for the sport of hockey — a game changer,” he said.
“Moving from a tournament based format to a home and away league will considerably increase the value of our sport.”
Following the league stage of the competition, the top teams will qualify for a finals tournament, the FIH said.
Smaller nations will still retain the possibility to qualify for the major events through the second tier of the competition.

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Amazon under investigation by Italy’s competition watchdog

Italy's competition authority said on Tuesday it had opened an investigation into Amazon for possible abuse of its dominant position in online commerce and logistics.

Amazon under investigation by Italy's competition watchdog
Did Amazon unfairly profit from its market dominance in Italy? Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

The authority said it suspected that the retail giant had been giving preferential exposure to third-party vendors on its platform only if they subscribed to Amazon's logistics service.

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“These practices would have allowed Amazon to profit unfairly from its dominant position” in online commerce platforms “in order to significantly curtail competition” on storage and dispatch markets, said the Italian competition authority, Antitrust. These practices would have in the end harmed consumers, it added.

The investigation is likely to last a year, said Antitrust. The authority's agents inspected various Amazon sites on Tuesday, accompanied by members of the financial crime unit.

The Italian case follows probes by authorities in Japan, France, Austria and the EU Commission into practices by Amazon and other tech giants like Google, Apple and Facebook.

In June 2017, the EU Commission hit Google with a fine of €2.42 billion for abuse of its dominant market position, the first such sanction for the company in Europe.