London, Brussels, Johannesburg to host HWL Semis in 2017
Lausanne, Oct 4 (IANS) The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Tuesday confirmed that London, Brussels and Johannesburg will host the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Finals between June and July in 2017.
Two men's and two women's Semi-Finals, which are 2018 World Cup qualifiers, will take place at these three locations between June 15 and July 23, according to a statement from FIH.
England had already been confirmed as host of the first men's Semi-Final, which will take place at London's Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre between June 15-25.
The dates for the first women's Semi-Final, in Belgium, are June 21 until July 2, with the venue confirmed as Stade Fallon in Brussels.
The other men's and women's Semi-Finals will take place between July 8-23 at the Randburg Hockey Turf in Johannesburg. This will be South Africa's first major FIH event since the Champions Challenge was held in the same city in 2011.
A total of 10 teams will take part in each Semi-Final. They will be comprised of six teams who qualify based on their FIH Hero world ranking, whilst the remaining four teams will qualify through HWL Round 2 events taking place earlier in 2017. In total, 20 men's and 20 women's teams will be taking part.
A lot is at stake for teams participating in these HWL Semi-Finals. Whilst vital ranking points will be awarded depending on final standings, the top teams from each Semi-Final will qualify for the 2018 World Cups in India (men) and England (women) in addition to the HWL Finals taking place in India (men) and New Zealand (women) later in 2017.