FIH Olympic Qualifier: India stays on course for clash with Pakistan

FIH will confirm all the teams involved in the draw, as well as their final ranking order, on September 8 after the publication of the FIH World Rankings

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As per the current FIH order, Indian men are placed third.   -  Getty Images

India’s opponent for the two-leg Olympic qualifier and a fight for a spot at the Tokyo Games would be confirmed on September 9 after a live draw at the FIH headquarters in Laussane with a likely clash at home against Pakistan, as reported first by The Hindu.

The draw, to be conducted by FIH CEO Thierry Weil, would see 14 teams drawn into seven pairs with the winners on aggregate going to Tokyo in 2020. The FIH on Thursday released the list of teams making the cut for the qualifiers as per current world rankings, with the top-eight being host teams. However, with the Oceania Cup ending on September 8, FIH admitted the rankings might change although that would have little effect on the Indian teams’ standings or hosting status.

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“Since either Australia or New Zealand will qualify directly to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as winners of the Oceania Cup, the group of ‘host teams’ will be reduced to seven teams...FIH will confirm all the teams involved in the draw, as well as their final ranking order, on September 8 after the publication of the FIH World Rankings,” it said in a statement.

As per the current FIH order, Indian men are placed third while Pakistan is 13th (excluding the teams already qualified). With both New Zealand and Australia in the top-half, India’s position in top-three is likely to be safe. The bottom half is likely to remain unchanged, keeping Pakistan in the bottom-three and in with a chance to draw India.

Among the women, India is currently placed 7th but would gain a spot regardless of who wins the Oceania Cup, and stay on course to host the tie.

List of qualified teams (in current rankings order)

Men

Host teams

Away teams:

(1) Australia

(9) Malaysia

(2) Netherlands

(10) France

(3) India

(11) Ireland

(4) Germany

(12) Korea

(5) Great Britain

(13) Pakistan

(6) Spain

(14) Austria

(7) New Zealand

(15)Egypt

(8) Canada

Women

Host teams

Away teams:

(1) Australia

(9) Korea

(2) Germany

(10) Belgium

(3) Great Britain

(11) USA

(4) Spain

(12) Canada

(5) New Zealand

(13) Italy

(6) Ireland

(14) Chile

(7) India

(15) Russia

(8) China