The International Hockey Federation (FIH) said on Friday that India and Spain will play the next women’s professional hockey league only as alternative teams this season, after Australia and New Zealand withdrew.
The third season of the FIH Hockey Pro Women’s League begins on October 13, with the Netherlands competing with Olympic world champions Belgium.
“The International Hockey Federation is pleased to announce that the women’s national teams of India and Spain will join the FIH Professional Hockey League for its third season – ‘Hockey at the Fest’,” the International Hockey Federation said in a statement.
“Both teams – this season only – will replace Australia and New Zealand … However, Australia and New Zealand will rejoin the Pro League for their fourth season,” the statement said.
Last month, Australia and New Zealand withdrew from the tournament and imposed international travel restrictions on Kovit from the upcoming FIH Hockey World Cup and FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup by their governments.
Wherever possible, women’s teams in India and Spain will play on the same dates and venues as their male counterparts, who are already part of the FIH World League both at home and abroad, including most of the leading nations in the world of hockey. FIH said. . .
Both India and Spain have excelled at the recent Tokyo Olympics. India advanced to the semi-finals for the first time, losing to Spain in a penalty shootout loss to Great Britain.
FIH CEO Theory Weil: “It is a great pleasure to welcome the best teams like India and Spain to the next edition of the FIH Hockey Pro League, especially after their fantastic performance in Tokyo.
“It’s great for the players and great for the fans! On behalf of the International Hockey Federation, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Hockey India and the Royal Spanish Hockey Federation for accepting our invitation.
Indian hockey captain Gyanendra Ningombam said the country’s participation in the upcoming FIH Hockey Pro League would not only give players the opportunity to compete with the best players in the world, but also increase the team’s fan base.
“As the Asian Games take place in 2022, playing with strong teams from all over the world earlier this year will definitely be a great platform for our teams to get the right show ahead of the most important Asian Games. An Olympic qualifying event,” he said.
“The participation of the women’s team in the FIH Hockey Pro League allows our team to compete against the best teams in the world. This will prepare Spain and the Netherlands better for the 2022 FIH Hockey World Cup,” said Santiago Dio, president of the Royal Spanish Hockey Federation.
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