- Pakistan hosts first event in 14 years
- Vanuatu set to welcome Pacific Island nations
- 10 nations now confirmed as hosts for Hockey Series Open
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has confirmed that hockey will return to Pakistan and Vanuatu with both nations hosting Hockey Series Open events later this year.
For the first time since the 2004 Hockey Champions Trophy in Lahore, Pakistan will host an official FIH event. National teams from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Oman, Qatar and Sri Lanka have been invited to take part in the competition which takes place between 25-30 September in Rawalpindi.
"We worked very closely with our Continental Federations to identify hosts that have experience in hosting international hockey competitions and can provide unique exposure for our sport."
Thierry Weil, FIH CEO
Although hosts Pakistan will not be participating due to their involvement in next year's Hockey Pro League, this marks an important step for the Pakistan Hockey Federation as they look to bring more international events to the hockey-obsessed nation.
In Oceania, Vanuatu will host a men's and women's Hockey Series Open in Port Vila between 13-18 August, which will include teams from many of the Pacific Islands. This will be their first FIH event since the 2014 Oceania Youth Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament.
Speaking about this news, FIH CEO Thierry Weil said: "We're incredibly excited to be taking the Hockey Series Open to these locations. We worked very closely with our Continental Federations to identify hosts that have experience in hosting international hockey competitions and can provide unique exposure for our sport."
He continued: "Taking hockey back to Pakistan is an indication of their ambition and we have no doubt their passionate hockey fans will relish the opportunity to see live international hockey once again. Vanuatu has also shown great progress over recent years. Awarding them this event is the latest milestone in their development strategy, which reflects all the hard work being undertaking by the Pacific Islands in the Oceania region."
As announced earlier this month, these events will be broadcast through FIH's YouTube channel as part of FIH's commitment to support the sport’s growth at all levels. This will give fans instant access to hundreds of hours of hockey action from all of the Hockey Series Open events taking place between June and September this year.
Confirmed Hosts (as of 16 May)
|Men & Women||Salamanca (MEX)||5 - 10 June|
|Men & Women||Singapore (SGP)||23 June - 1 July|
|Men||Zagreb (CRO)||25 - 30 June|
|Women||Wattignies (FRA)||6 - 8 July|
|Men & Women||Port Vila (VAN)||13-18 August|
|Women||Vilnius, (LIT)||21 – 26 August|
|Men||Gniezno (POL)||28 August - 2 September|
|Men||Lousada (POR)||4 - 9 September|
|Men & Women||Santiago (CHL)||18 – 23 September|
|Men||Rawalpindi (PAK)||25 - 30 September|
About the Hockey Series
The new Hockey Series will provide a qualification route to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Starting with the Hockey Series Open and progressing to the Hockey Series Finals, they will culminate in a series of Olympic Qualification Events with the overall winners guaranteed a place in Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
15 nations will qualify from the Hockey Series Open for one of three Hockey Series Finals.
For more information about the Hockey Series and Olympic qualification, .