Date : 04 Apr 2019
Lausanne, Switzerland, April 4, 2019: In an exciting move that shows the power of sport to influence a wider agenda, the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) is one of the organisations pushing for a unified Korea women’s team to be part of Tokyo 2020, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) reported on April 3.
Tayyab Ikram, who is Chairman of International Relations and Olympic Relations for FIH as well as Chief Executive of the AHF, explains why he feels so passionately that hockey should be playing a leading role in the Unified Korea Project.
“It will truly be an achievement if the world sees a unified Korean team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and we are willing to make all such efforts in order to make it possible,” he said.
“Such stories make sports a lot more defining; it makes it emotional and such moments makes the audience fall in love with the power of sport.”
Ikram stresses that the AHF is keen to support hockey’s involvement in all global agendas presented by the IOC.
“If it’s about sport and peace, gender equality, whatever the United Nations, UNESCO and the IOC is considering for global agendas, hockey would like to be a part of it,” he says.
A precedent has already been set at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, where a unified women’s ice hockey team represented Korea. It was a move that captured the imagination of the world.
If the unification process goes ahead, both the AHF and the FIH will have important roles to play in supporting hockey development in the region.
Ikram already has his views on the process: “It is extremely important that FIH and AHF guide and support both North and South Korea so they can prepare a unified team without compromising too much on the performance level of the athletes.”
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