Pakistan may have to play Tokyo 2020 hockey qualifiers in India

Pakistan Hockey team might be required to travel to India for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic hockey qualifiers for men and women are scheduled from October 25 to 27 and November 1 to 3.

Hockey India will play host to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers in October and November. Hosts India had failed to get an Olympics hockey berth during the Jakarta Asian Games last year.

This will be India’s last opportunity to book tickets for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic hockey competitions for men and women. India have won both men’s and women’s events at the Tokyo 2020 Hockey Stadium test event earlier this month.

India had made it to the qualifiers for winning the FIH Series Finals when the men beat South Africa in the final at Bhubaneshwar. The women made the graded by defeating hosts  in the final in Hiroshima.

The draw, according to a report, to determine the matches of the upcoming FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers will be held on 9 September at the International Hockey Federation headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland..

The qualifiers will feature the following 14 teams each in the men’s and women’s competition.

Men’s Olympic qualifiers: Host teams: 1. Australia, 2. Netherlands, 3. India, 4. Germany, 5. Great Britain, 6. Spain, 7. New Zealand, 8. Canada.

Away teams: 9. Malaysia, 10. France, 11. Ireland, 12. Korea, 13. Pakistan, 14. Austria and 15. Egypt.

Women’s Olympic qualifiers: Host teams: 1. Australia, 2. Germany, 3. Great Britain, 4. Spain, 5. New Zealand, 6. Ireland, 7. India, 8. China.

Away teams: 9. Korea, 10. Belgium, 11. USA, 12. Canada, 13. Italy, 14. Chile, 15. Russia.

Since either Australia or New Zealand will qualify directly to the Olympic Games as winners of the Oceania Cup, the group of host teams will be reduced to seven teams on  September 8.

The teams ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd will be drawn at random to play at home against one of the teams ranked 12th, 13th or 14th. For example, the team ranked 1st will play at home one of the teams ranked 12th, 13th or 14th, as determined by the draw. This raises the prospect of Pakistan being drawn to play against India in India.

The teams ranked 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th will be drawn at random to play at home against one of the teams ranked 8th, 9th, 10th or 11th.

The following teams have already qualified for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as winners of their respective Continental Championship: Argentina (men and women), South Africa (men and women), Belgium (men) and Netherlands (women). They will be joined by the winners of the Oceania Cup – men and women – which will take place in Rockhampton, Australia (5-8 September). Japan (men and women) won their Continental Championship in 2018 but were already qualified as hosts.