The first Hockey 5s World Cup moved a step closer following the men’s and women’s draws for next January’s event in Oman, which will see the Netherlands compete as the only top nation from Europe.
The hosts have been drawn in Pool A along with Malaysia, Fiji and Netherlands in the women’s competition. Australia, South Africa, Ukraine and Zambia are placed in Pool B, India, United States, Poland and Namibia are in Pool C, while New Zealand, Uruguay, Thailand and Paraguay complete Pool D.
In the men’s competition Netherlands are drawn with Pakistan, Poland and Nigeria in Pool A and India, Egypt, Switzerland and Jamaica will compete in Pool B. Australia, New Zealand, Trinidad & Tobago and Kenya are placed in Pool C, while hosts Oman will face Malaysia, United States and Fiji in Pool D.
The first World Cup gets underway from Jan 24-31 next year in Muscat, Oman.
FIH president Tayyab Ikram said: “You represent the very best of Hockey5s; and you will be the trailblazers and the role models for all future players who take up this new and exciting format of our beloved sport.
“Hockey5s is not just a very exciting format, but it is also a highly accessible version of hockey that I am sure will inspire even more youngsters to pick up the stick and the ball.”
England, Germany and Belgium are notable absentees from the first Hockey 5s showpiece.
German Bundesliga chiefs last year issued a manifesto which said that teams or national sides should not participate in high-level competition or demonstration events.