Stage is set for 9th Hockey World Cups

The stage is set and the opening act will see reigning womens World Champions Australia taking on Scotland when the Rabobank International Womens World Cup 1998 gets underway on 20th May in Utrecht, the Netherlands. In the mens World Cup, Australia will again figure in the first match when it faces Poland to open the tournament on 21st May. The womens tournament will finish 31st May while the mens wraps up on 1st June.

Tournament Director for the Mens World Cup is Heinz W÷ltje of Germany and for the women, Annabel Ess of Singapore. Umpires manager for the men is Horatio Servetto of Argentina, and for the women, Corinne Pritchard of New Zealand. Appointments for the remainder of the tournament officials are currently being made.

Representatives of the FIH Equipment Committee recently visited the Utrecht venue, a well-known football stadium. Installation of the two new synthetic surfaces, both DESSO Action Turf L, will begin once the football season has finished and will supervised by the FIH laboratory based at the National Sports Centre in Papendal. The surfaces will have the same construction and identical playing characteristics. They will be treated to eliminate lubrication usually present in newly-laid carpet and will play like pitches that are six months old.

FIH President, Juan Angel Calzado, also paid a visit to Utrecht recently, and was received in grand style by the citys Mayor. Mr. Calzado was pleased with the facilities and expects a very successful event in May.

While the teams make their preparations for action on the pitch, tournament organisers continue their plans to ensure a smoothly run event outside the white lines. A limited number of season tickets for the sideline stand and day tickets for behind the goals are still available. Tickets can be ordered by using the form mailed with this newsletter.

FIH officials not participating in the Rabobank International World Cup Hockey 1998 who seek accreditation should send their request no later than 31st January 1998, by fax, to World Cup Hockey 1998: +31 30 656 4485. Include your name, nationality, fax number, FIH function and the exact dates for which you would like access to the event.

The organisers latest World Cup news can be found on the official tournament web site at .

Journalists seeking accreditation for the World Cups should contact the organisers media representatives, Trefpunt, at +31 35 6244053 (phone) or +31 35 621 5033 (fax).

MEN            WOMEN
Pool A Pool B Pool A Pool B
Canada Australia Australia Argentina
Germany England China England
India Malaysia Germany India
Korea Pakistan Scotland Korea
Netherlands Poland South Africa Netherlands
New Zealand Spain U.S.A New Zealand

The full match schedule can be found in the calendar section of the FIH web site.

The closing ceremony will follow immediately after awards ceremony.

For additional information, consult the Organisers official tournament web site (