South Africa and Canada have joined the men’s FIH Pro League for season 3, as first revealed by The Hockey Paper.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) approved the participation of the two nations – who both had to crowdfund to get to the Tokyo Olympics – as a temporary measure after Australia and New Zealand pulled out over travel restrictions.
As THP published in October, South Africa – despite the current concerns over the Omicron variant and travel restrictions – are set to host four other nations in February in a condensed set of fixtures, which will be a boost for South African hockey fans.
In a Champions Trophy-style set up, nations taking on each other include the Netherlands, Canada, India and Germany from Feb 8-21. Countries usually travel to South Africa in February for warm weather training and matches.
FIH CEO Thierry Weil said: “It’s great that both South Africa and Canada are joining the FIH Hockey Pro League.
“Both teams are the first ones from Africa and North America to join the Men’s League, which is excellent for the growth and globalisation of hockey.”
The first Pro League matches of the year in 2022 will involve the Women’s teams of China and India.
They will take place on 31 January – 1 February in Thailand, where both teams will be to play the Women’s Asia Cup 2022.