FIH sticks with old system | india | Hindustan Times
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FIH sticks with old system

The international hockey federation (FIH) has decided not to change its Olympic Games qualification system for London 2012. This would mean trouble for teams that fail to win the continental championship, like the Asian Games, and some big guns will be forced to go through the pain of qualifying tournaments. Olympic Qualifying System

india Updated: Oct 29, 2010 01:14 IST
B Shrikant

The international hockey federation (FIH) has decided not to change its Olympic Games qualification system for London 2012. This would mean trouble for teams that fail to win the continental championship, like the Asian Games, and some big guns will be forced to go through the pain of qualifying tournaments.

Soon after the Beijing Olympics, FIH president Leandro Negre had expressed his dissatisfaction with the system that resulted in a top team like India failing to make it to the Beijing Games. He had announced introduction of a “World Series” of tournament, which would act as qualifiers for the next Olympics, giving teams more than one chance to qualify.

However, FIH has not been able to complete formalities for the World Series, which will now be launched in 2012 and will not be the qualifying process for London 2012.

Instead, FIH will follow the old system of continental championships followed by three qualifying tournaments each for men and women. The qualifying tournaments will be held between January 1 and May 15, 2012, an FIH official told HT.

Five continental champions apart from the host will directly qualify for the event while FIH will allot three places as per the world rankings. The winners of the three qualifying tournaments will complete the field of 12 teams in both men’s and women’s section. The Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, from November 12 to 27 will be the first qualifying event as per this system.

This means, only the Asian Games champion is guaranteed of their London berth at this juncture. Whether Asia will get another direct berth is yet to be decided as European teams dominate the World rankings. Europe is expected to get four places. “The FIH is finalising with the IOC how many other places would be available for direct qualification,” Richard Stainthorpe, FIH communication consultant, told HT.