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Pakistan to feature in Olympic hockey qualifiers

August 30, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has been placed on the list of qualifiers for the hockey event of 2020 Olympics to be held in Tokyo (Japan).

Pakistan has been placed at No 13 on the qualifying list, meaning the greenshirts will have to play against one of the best teams to earn a place the final qualification round.Top eight teams have been declared as host nations where these matches will he held.

Pakistan is expected to play Netherlands, Germany or India for a place in a final qualifier.The draw to determine the matches of the upcoming FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers will be held on September 9 at the headquarters of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) in Lausanne, Switzerland. It will be conducted by FIH CEO Thierry Weil and streamed live on the FIH Facebook page.

14 Men’s and 14 Women’s teams will be involved in this draw. The FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers will each feature two nations playing two back-to-back matches, with nations drawn to play each other based on their rankings at the end of the last 2018/2019 Continental Championship, namely the Oceania Cup (8 September). The matches will be hosted by the higher ranked of the two competing nations.

The list of qualified teams for the FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers, in their current ranking order is as follows:

Men: Host teams: (1) Australia; (2) Netherlands; (3) India; (4) Germany; (5) Britain; (6) Spain; (7) New Zealand; (8) Canada

Away teams: (9) Malaysia; (10) France; (11) Ireland; (12) Korea; (13) Pakistan; (14) Austria; (15) Egypt.

Women: Host teams: (1) Australia; (2) Germany; (3) Great Britain; (4) Spain; (5) New Zealand; (6) Ireland; (7) India; (8) China

Away teams: (9) Korea; (10) Belgium; (11) USA; (12) Canada; (13) Italy; (14) Chile; (15) Russia

Since either Australia or New Zealand will qualify directly to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as winners of the Oceania Cup, the group of “host teams” will be reduced to seven teams on 8 September

The ranking order indicated above might change on September 8 depending on the results of the Oceania Cup

FIH will confirm all the teams involved in the draw, as well as their final ranking order, on 8 September after the publication of the FIH World Rankings, following the completion of the Oceania Cup. The draw will be held as follows:

The teams ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd will be drawn at random to play at home against one of the teams ranked 12th, 13th or 14th. For example, the team ranked 1st will play at home one of the teams ranked 12th, 13th or 14th, as determined by the draw· The teams ranked 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th will be drawn at random to play at home against one of the teams ranked 8th, 9th, 10th or 11th

The FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers are scheduled for October 25-27 and November 1-3, 2019. The exact match schedule and venues will be confirmed after the draw on September 9.

The following teams have already qualified for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as winners of their respective Continental Championship: Argentina (Men and Women), South Africa (Men and Women), Belgium (Men) and Netherlands (Women).

They will be joined by the winners of the Oceania Cup – Men and Women - which will take place in Rockhampton, Australia (5-8 September). Japan (Men and Women) won their Continental Championship in 2018 and were already qualified as hosts.

It is worth noting that the final participation in the Olympic Games for any team must be approved and confirmed beforehand by their respective National Olympic Committee. The 2020 Olympic hockey tournaments will be staged in Japan’s capital city from 25 July to 7 August next year and involve 12 Men’s and 12 Women’s teams.