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England drawn to play Iran, Austria, the Czechs, USA and Russia in indoor hockey World Cup

England will face some unfamiliar opposition in men’s indoor hockey World Cup in Poland in February. The draw, released today, pitches England into pool B alongside Austria, Russia, the Czech Republic, USA and Iran.
So some unusual games there then with the USA-Iran clash looking like one for the history books. England will also make their own bit of hockey history at the tournament – this is the first time England’s men have played in an indoor World Cup.
Over in men’s pool A are the hosts Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, Australia and African champs Namibia.

England will face some unfamiliar opposition in men’s indoor hockey World Cup in Poland in February. The draw, released today, pitches England into pool B alongside Austria, Russia, the Czech Republic, USA and Iran.
So some unusual games there then with the USA-Iran clash looking like one for the history books. England will also make their own bit of hockey history at the tournament – this is the first time England’s men have played in an indoor World Cup.
Over in men’s pool A are the hosts Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, Australia and African champs Namibia.
For the first time in the short history of the FIH indoor World Cup, all five continents will be represented at the third Edition of the tournament. The national indoor teams of Iran (men) and Kazakhstan (women) are representing Asia in an indoor World Cup for the first time, with the teams from Uruguay and Argentina being the first ever participants from South America, showing the increasing popularity of the indoor game outside of its European heartland. There are also indoor World Cup debuts for Namibia (men & women).
The mighty Germans will be aiming to claim their third successive FIH Indoor World Cup title, following gold medal performances in Leipzig 2003 and Vienna 2007, where they defeated Poland in the tournament final. The Poles will be determined to rectify that on home soil in February, but will also face stern tests from their fellow pool A contenders in the fight to reach the tournament Semi Finals.
2010 EuroHockey Indoor Nations champions Austria will be one of the favourites to emerge from pool B. Russia were runners up to Austria in the 2010 EuroHockey Nations event, suggesting that they will also be a team to watch in this pool.
Pool A of the women’s competition sees reigning world champions the Netherlands taking on EuroHockey Indoor Nations champions Ukraine, as well as Czech Republic, Austria, Argentina and Kazakhstan. The Netherlands and Ukraine will be considered as marginal favourites to progress to the semis from pool A, but will face strong resistance from skilful and unpredictable opponents.
Germany and Belarus, who finished third and fifth respectively at the 2010 EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championships, are arguably the two strongest teams in Pool B. However, host nation Poland will be keen to make home advantage count and secure a place in the semis. Australia, Namibia and Uruguay complete the Pool B line-up.
The FIH Indoor World Cup will take place at the Poznan International Fair Exhibition Hall in from February 8-13, 2011, a year which marks the 85th anniversary of the foundation of the Polish Hockey Association. A complete match schedule for the tournament will be released in the coming weeks.

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