India will host one of the men’s FIH Hockey Series Finals from June 6 to 16, a tournament from where two teams will make the cut for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifiers. The top two teams from each FIH Series Finals will secure a place in the Tokyo Olympics’ qualification events to be held in November next year.
Besides hosts India, other teams in the event are Asian Games champions Japan, Mexico, Polland, Russia, South Africa, USA. One more team is yet to be confirmed. The venue for the India-leg of Hockey Series Final is also be finalised later. Three pools of eight teams each for men as well as women will compete in these events, which will gather the best-ranked teams not involved in the FIH Pro League.
The Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur and Le Touquet (France) will host the other two legs of the men’s competition. The Malaysian leg will be held from April 26 to May 4 and will be contested by Malaysia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Italy, Vanuatu and Wales while Chile, France, Ireland, Korea, Scotland, Singapore and two more unconfirmed teams will compete in the Le Touquet leg from June 15 to 23.
All teams have qualified through the Hockey Series Open. Five more teams — two men’s and two women’s teams from Africa as well as one men’s team from Asia — will qualify for the FIH Series Finals through the remaining Hockey Series Open events due to be played in Africa (December 7-9 in Zimbabwe) and Asia (date and venue to be confirmed).
The women’s competition will be hosted by Ireland (June 8 to 16), Japan (June 15 to 23) and Valencia (June 19 to 27). The Indian women will feature in the Japan leg of the Hockey Series Finals which will also have Chile, Fiji, hosts Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia and Uruguay.
“After the success of the Hockey Series Open, the FIH Series Finals will provide an even bigger stage for top and highly contested games,” International Hockey Federation (FIH) CEO Thierry Weil said in a statement.
“We’re convinced that this new competition, part of our new event portfolio, will generate a lot of excitement among fans all over the world,” he added.