x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Hockey pitches to change colour

In an effort to draw more people to hockey, the 2012 London Games organisers have said that the hockey tournament will use blue pitches and pink surrounds.

LONDON // Blue pitches with pink surrounds will be used for the London 2012 Olympics hockey tournament, organisers said yesterday.

It will be the first time a major hockey tournament has been played on a blue surface since artificial green turf began to replace natural grass pitches in the 1970s.

It is hoped that the vivid colour combination will provide a better spectacle for fans at London's Olympic Park hockey venue and those watching on television.

"As we look to be innovative as well as providing first class facilities, we are pleased to be working with the International Hockey Federation and installing blue hockey pitches in 2012," Debbie Jevans, London 2012's director of sport, said in a statement.

"We have carried out research with athletes and broadcasters and are looking forward to world class hockey being played at a bespoke venue on a blue pitch. The colour blue will define hockey in 2012."

The temporary hockey venue, which will be built early next year, will hold 16,000 fans.

Meanwhile, the British Olympic Association (BOA) has asked the government to help settle its disagreement with the organisers of the London 2012 Olympics (LOCOG), officials said.

The two sides disagree about whether the BOA's share of any profits from the Games should be distributed before or after taking into account the cost of staging the Paralympics and, despite the International Olympic Committee coming down in favour of LOCOG, the BOA has taken the dispute to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The row is threatening to damage the reputation of the BOA a week before the IOC comes to London.