Pakistan hockey fans have something to cheer about as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced that Pakistan will be hosting the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in 2024.
This comes after a gap of 20 years, as Pakistan last hosted the event in 2004. Alongside Pakistan, China and Spain have also been selected as host countries for the qualifiers, which will take place from 13 to 21 January 2024.
In terms of the tournament structure, the Women’s Qualifiers will be held in Changzhou, China, and Valencia, Spain, each hosting one tournament. On the other hand, the Men’s matches will take place in Lahore, Pakistan, and Valencia, Spain, also with one tournament in each location. Each tournament will feature eight teams, making a total of 16 teams per gender. The distribution of quotas for the continental teams is as follows:
For the Women’s FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers:
Africa will have 0 quotas, Asia will have 4 quotas, Europe will have 8 quotas, Oceania will have 1 quota, and Pan America will have 3 quotas.
For the Men’s FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers:
Africa will have 1 quota, Asia will have 5 quotas, Europe will have 7 quotas, Oceania will have 1 quota, and Pan America will have 2 quotas.
The selection of teams for participation in the qualifiers will be based on their performance at the Continental Championships taking place in 2023. The top teams from each FIH Hockey Olympic Qualification Tournament will secure their spots in the Paris 2024 Olympics. They will join the host country, France, as well as the winners of each Continental Championship, including the African Hockey Road to Paris, Pan American Games, Asian Games, EuroHockey Championship, and Oceania Cup.
Just like the format since Beijing 2008, the Paris 2024 Olympic hockey tournaments will feature 12 teams per gender, with each squad consisting of 16 athletes.
Pakistan hockey enthusiasts can look forward to their country hosting this prestigious event, and it is undoubtedly a significant development for Pakistan sports. Stay tuned for more updates on Pakistan hockey and other sports news.