PETALING JAYA: Local hockey fans are in for a treat as there will be no entrance fee for the Samsung Champions Trophy tournament, which takes off at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil from Nov 29 to Dec 9.
Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president Tan Sri Anwar Mohd Nor announced the decision at the launch of the tournament website at the Palace of the Golden Horses on Monday.
"We want to encourage all to enjoy the high level hockey played by the eight top teams in the world," said Anwar.
He said it would defeat the purpose to hold the matches in front of an empty stadium and that the MHF would invite several schools from the Klang Valley and government agencies to attend the matches.
"We will also be providing transport for some of the schools, too, and we hope that we can at least get half the stadium filled. We have found it difficult in the past to fill the stadium unless it is at the semi-final or final stages," said Anwar.
Anwar said fans outside Klang Valley can also follow the matches through the website, which will have live coverage, and from television media, which will provide a wider audience.
The tournament will feature eight teams - defending champions Holland, world champions Germany, Olympic champions Australia, Spain, South Korea, Britain, Pakistan and hosts Malaysia.
The 11-day tournament will be played in a round-robin format with the top two finishers qualifying for the final on Nov 9.
Britain will play Holland in the opening game on Nov 29. Other matches at the opening day are Germany vs Pakistan, South Korea vs Spain and Malaysia vs Australia.