By The Hockey Paper
The final path to a ticket to Tokyo will be unveiled on September 9 when the draw for the Olympic play-offs take place in Lausanne.
With Argentina men, the defending Olympic champions, having already qualified, Great Britain women will go into the hat in Lausanne for the nervy two-legged play-off matches as they set about qualifying to defend their title in Japan.
GB has requested the second of the play-off dates, November 1-3, and are expected to be played at Lee Valley in London.
As it stands, GB women could play Italy, Chile or Russia over the weekend. Meanwhile GB men could be drawn against Malaysia, France, Ireland or South Korea.
Ireland men could also play Spain, Canada or New Zealand away from home, while the Green Army, with home advantage, might be pitted against Belgium, Korea or USA.
Fourteen men’s and women’s teams will be involved in the draw. The final rankings will be known after the Oceania qualifiers featuring Australia and New Zealand.
The list of qualified teams for the FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers:
(1) Australia (2) Netherlands (3) India (4) Germany (5) Great Britain (6) Spain (7) New Zealand (8) Canada
(9) Malaysia (10) France (11) Ireland (12) Korea (13) Pakistan (14) Austria (15)Egypt
(1) Australia (2) Germany (3) Great Britain (4) Spain (5) New Zealand (6) Ireland (7) India (8) China
(9) Korea (10) Belgium (11) USA (12) Canada (13) Italy (14) Chile (15) Russia
The group of host teams will be reduced to seven on September 8 when either Australia or New Zealand will qualify directly, while the ranking order may change depending on the results. On form, both Hockeyroos and Kookaburras will be favourites to qualify.
The draw will be done as follows:
- 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
- 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 FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers are scheduled for October 25-27 and November 1-3. The exact match schedule and venues will be confirmed after the draw in September.
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). Japan (Men and Women) won their Continental Championship in 2018 and were already qualified as hosts.
As far as South Africa is concerned, it is not known at this stage whether their Olympic committee has given the men’s side the green light for Tokyo.
Twelve men’s and women’s teams will contest the Olympics from July 25 to August 7 , 2020.