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• Location confirmed as The Pavilion in Stormont Estate
• Event taking place between 11-19 March 2017
• Eight teams will compete to progress to Hockey World Cup qualifiers
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has confirmed that The Pavilion (NICSSA) in Stormont Estate in Belfast will host Ireland’s Hockey World League Round 2 men’s event between 11-19 March 2017.
Hosts Ireland will welcome men’s national teams from France, Poland, Ukraine, Italy, Wales, Scotland and Austria. They will all be aiming to qualify for the Hockey World League Semi-Finals taking place later in the year.
This confirmation completes the line-up of hosts for the Hockey World League Round 2 events which will take place in six locations across the world between January and April 2017.
The venue in Belfast recently played host to the senior men’s Irish hockey team as they faced Canada in a pre-Olympic test series, whilst it has also held Cricket Ireland One Day International tests in recent years.
Ireland is no stranger to hosting the Hockey World League having held another Round 2 event back in March 2015 in Dublin. There, their senior women were crowned winners of the event, with Canada coming runners up as both teams progressed to the Hockey World League Semi-Finals, Rio 2016 Olympic Games qualifiers, later that year.
The Hockey World League Round 2 will be played over three men’s and three women’s events, with eight teams assigned to each destination by the FIH Competitions Committee.
Another men’s Round 2 event will take place in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where Canada, Oman, Egypt, hosts Bangladesh, China, Sri Lanka, Ghana and Fiji will be playing between 4-12 March.
The last men’s Round 2 event takes place in Tacarigua in Trinidad and Tobago from 25 March until 2 April. There, Malaysia, Japan, Russia, hosts Trinidad and Tobago, USA, Barbados, Chile and Switzerland will take part.
Composed of four rounds (Round 1, 2, Semi-Finals and Finals) and played over two years, the Hockey World League shines a spotlight on the sport around the world. Even the smallest hockey-playing nations have the opportunity to write their own chapter in hockey’s history books.
A lot is at stake for teams participating in these Hockey World League Round 2 events. Whilst vital FIH Hero World Ranking points will be awarded depending on final standings, eight teams per gender will qualify for the Hockey World League Semi-Finals. These will be the top two teams from each event plus the two highest placed teams in the FIH Hero World Rankings of the teams that finish third.
Taking place next June and July, the Semi-Finals offer teams the chance to qualify for the Hockey World League Finals later in the year, plus the ultimate prize of 2018 Hockey World Cup qualification.
Tickets for the first of those, the men’s Hockey World League Semi-Final at London’s Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre (15-25 June) are on sale and can be purchased by clicking here.
Fans can support their nation’s journey throughout the Hockey World League by following FIH on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and visiting FIH.ch over the coming months.