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Greece Withdraws from Women’s Qualification Play-Off Series
24 Feb 2004 15:27

Russia (l) and Ukraine will fight for one of 5 places up for grabs in Athens
courtesy W. Sternberger
© W. Sternberger

The Hellenic Hockey Federation has withdrawn its women’s national team from the Women’s Qualifying Play-Off Competition, scheduled in Auckland, New Zealand 11 -- 14 March 2004, reports the International Hockey Federation.

The Play-Off series between Greece and Russia was the last opportunity for the Greek women’s team to qualify for the XVII Olympic Games to be held in Athens later this year. The Hellenic Hockey Federation (HHF) cites "explicit financial reasons" as the reason for their withdrawal.

Greece, the host nation of the XXVII Olympic Games, was required to meet the qualification criteria set out by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The first option for Greece to gain a place at the Olympics was by qualifying for the European Nations Cup, held in 2003. Greece did not qualify for this tournament but there was a second opportunity for Greece to qualify for the Olympics.

This required Greece to beat the 10th qualified team of the Women’s Olympic Qualifier in a best of three play-off competition. Russia, the 10th qualified team at the Qualifier, would have kept its place in the Qualifier regardless of whether it won or lost against Greece. There would, however, have been four places at stake at the Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Auckland if Greece had qualified, rather than the five now available.

The Women's Qualifying Tournament for XXVII Olympic Games is being held in Auckland New Zealand, 19 to 28 Mar 2004.

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