ISLAMABAD, Aug 09 (APP): The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Tuesday named the participating teams and pools for the FIH Hockey Indoor World Cup South Africa 2023, to be staged in Pretoria, at the Heartfelt Arena from February 5 to 11, 2023.
Women’s Pools include A: Netherlands, Austria, Australia, United States, South Africa and New Zealand; Pool B: Ukraine, Czech Republic, Namibia, Kazakhstan, Belgium and Canada.
Men’s Pool comprise A: Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Namibia and New Zealand; Pool B: Iran, Czech Republic, Australia, South Africa, United States and Argentina.
The pools were established on the basis of the current FIH Indoor World Rankings, said a press release.
All 24 teams except Australia and New Zealand were in the line-up of participating teams for the event which was scheduled to be played in February 2022 but was postponed due to COVID-related issues.
For the 2023 edition, Australia would replace Russia (Men) and Belarus (Women) since, based on the current guidance from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the participation of these two teams has been denied by FIH.
New Zealand would replace Germany (for both genders) who, despite having qualified, have decided not to take part.
South African Hockey Association Acting CEO Shaune Baaitjies said, “The South African Hockey family are so excited about another first for SA Hockey and we cannot wait to welcome our visitors to our beautiful country where we promise to deliver a spectacular event. As a country with a proud heritage of hosting historic international events we can’t wait to add the FIH Hockey Indoor World Cup to this incredible catalogue!”
FIH CEO Thierry Weil said, “All teams and all hockey fans are eagerly waiting for the FIH Hockey Indoor World Cup to be back! We’re really glad to have again participating teams from every continent, making it an impressive line up.”
Germany (Women) and Austria (Men) were crowned the Champions in 2018, at the last edition of the FIH Hockey Indoor World Cup.