FIH decisions: Pools for Qualifying Tournaments for Olympic Games, host countries, etc.

11/2/99 -- Brussels, Belgium

The International Hockey Federation last week marked its 75th Anniversary with a variety of activities held in Alexandria, Egypt. Following are highlights of the week's events and important decisions.

Pools decided for Osaka and Milton Keynes qualifying tournaments
The pools for the men's and women's Qualifying tournaments for the Olympic Games, taking place respectively in Osaka, Japan and Milton Keynes, England in March 2000, were approved by the FIH Council during its meeting Friday 29th November. The pools were recommended to Council by the FIH Competitions Committee.

Men's Qualifying tournament, Osaka Japan, 9-20 March 2000
Pool A: Belgium, Great Britain, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Poland
Pool B: Argentina, Belarus, Malaysia, Pakistan, Spain, Switzerland

Women's Qualifying tournament, Milton Keynes, England, 24 March - 2 April 2000
Pool A: Germany, India, Ireland, Spain, USA
Pool B: China, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Russia

Six men's teams and five women's teams from the Qualifying events will earn a spot at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. They will join the six men's teams and five women's teams already qualified for Sydney. The teams that have already qualified for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games are:

Men's Olympic Tournament
South Africa: winner at the Men's hockey tournament in the 7th All Africa Games
Australia: host country and also winner at the 2nd Oceania Cup
Canada: winner at the Men's hockey Tournament in the 13th Pan American Games
Germany: Winner at the 8th European Nations Cup
India: winner at the Men's hockey tournament in the 13th Asian Games
The Netherlands: Olympic Champion in Atlanta - 1996

Women's Olympic Tournament
South Africa: winner at the Women's hockey tournament in the 7th All Africa Games
Argentina: winner at the Women's Hockey Tournament in the 13th Pan American Games
Australia: host country - Olympic Champion in Atlanta - 1996 - winner at the 2nd Oceania Cup
Korea: winner at the Women's hockey tournament in the 13th Asian Games
The Netherlands: winner at the 5th European Nations Cup.

Host countries for upcoming FIH world-level events
The FIH Council in its meeting also confirmed the following host countries for upcoming FIH world-level events: Netherlands - 9th Women's Champions Trophy, 2001; England - 25th Men's Champions Trophy and 11th Women's Champions Trophy, 2003 (joint event); Zimbabwe - 2nd Men's and Women's Champions Challenge (joint event). A host for the 2001 Women's World Cup Qualifier is yet to be determined.


2000 Champions Trophy field may be expanded
In recognition of the importance of hockey on the sub-continent and in Asia, and in an effort to support the promotion of the sport in these key regions, the FIH Council agreed in principle to include both the Pakistan men's team and the Korean women's team in the 2000 Champions Trophies being staged in May/June in Amstelveen, Netherlands, making for a seven-team field for both events. Both Pakistan and Korea finished in sixth place during the 1999 Champions Trophies held in Brisbane, Australia, and would therefore not normally qualify for the 2000 event.

Whether the decision can actually be implemented, however, is yet to be seen. The FIH Council acknowledged that it could only be accomplished if the move did not place undue financial and administrative hardship on the host country, the Netherlands, and on participating teams. The implications of the seven-team field - including increased playing days, increased financial burden, revamping of the match schedule and possible difficulties with ticketing - are now being studied.

Olympic TD's named, other officials to be known soon
Eric Donegani of Canada and Annabel Ess of Singapore were named as the Technical Delegates, respectively, for the men's and women's hockey tournaments of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. It is expected that a number of the tournaments' Technical Officials will be named by January, with the remainder - mainly umpires - to be named once the Qualifying tournaments are complete and the full field of Olympic participants is known.

Exhibition matches
One of the highlights of the FIH 75th Anniversary week, two high-level exhibition matches, saw the Australian women lose to the FIH President's select women's team, 4-3, and the Netherlands men proving too strong for the FIH President's select men's team, defeating them 4-1.

After a scoreless first half in the women's game, the goals flowed freely in the exciting second half, with the lead changing hands a number of times before the President's XI went ahead for good in the 68th minute.

The Dutch took the lead with a 12th minute penalty corner in the men's match and the President's XI team leveled the score in the 29th minute. More than 20 minutes later, the Dutch went ahead again and didn't look back, scoring a third and fourth goal for good measure.

Alyson Annan, who had been named the FIH women's International Player of the Year earlier in the week, was on the Australian side, while the men's International Player of the Year, Stephan Veen of the Netherlands, did not make the trip to Egypt as planned due to a death in the family.


- Ends -


Note: Information regarding the meeting of the Hockey Rules Board will be released later this week.

For additional information:
Mary Coyle, FIH Communications Manager
+32 2 219 4537 (phone)
+32 2 219 2761 (fax)
[email protected] (e-mail)

Copyright 1999 International Hockey Federation
Last modified: 11/2/99