Bhubaneswar named as co-hosts for 2019 Hockey Series Finals
The capital of Odisha, Bhubaneswar, is set to host one of the three Hockey Series Finals to be held from June 6 to 16 next year.
The Hockey Series is open to national teams that are not playing in the Hockey Pro League.
It was announced by Odisha Sports Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera in the presence of International Hockey Federation (FIH) President Narinder Batra here on Wednesday.
"After the successful hosting of the 2018 Hockey World Cup, Bhubaneswar will once again welcome international hockey when it will host the Hockey Series Finals from June 6 to 16 next year. It is a privilege for us to be recognised as one of the sought-after destinations for hockey," Behera said.
The Hockey Series takes place in two rounds, the Open and the Finals. The nine highest ranked teams in the FIH World Rankings (as of 9 June 2017) skip the Open and advance directly to the Finals.
All other national teams play in the Hockey Series Open, which features eight regional events with up to six teams each. Fifteen teams will qualify from the Hockey Series Open to the Hockey Series Finals, for a total of 24 teams in the Finals.
Those teams will play in three events, with eight teams per event (three automatic qualifiers and five that advanced from the Open).
The top two placed teams in each of the Finals events will qualify for the Olympic qualification events.
In this qualification event, they will be joined by the top four placed teams from the Pro League, and the four highest ranked teams not already qualified.
The teams will be drawn and they will play a two-legged tie to determine seven qualified nations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
While India will host the second of the Hockey Series Finals, Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur will host the first event from April 23 to May 1.
The last Hockey Series Final will be hosted by Le Touquet, France from June 15 to 23.