Friday, December 9, 2011

FIH: South Africa yet to withdraw from Olympics


Following some confusion with regards to the qualifying system adopted by FIH, this blog took the liberty to write to FIH and seek clarification on the matter as well as the automatic qualification of Malaysia for the 2012 Champions Challenge I.
And we are fortunate that the FIH, through Martyn Gallivan Competitions Manager has graciously replied to the email and below is the reply to the questions posed.

Question: When was the decision made on Spain taking over South Africa's spot?
At this moment in time South Africa has not declined its invitation to enter the Men’s Hockey Competition of the London 2012 Olympic Games. If any National Olympic Committee should decline to take part in the Olympic Games, that team will be replaced in accordance with the Qualifying System jointly agreed and published by the IOC and FIH.

A copy can be found on the FIH web site and the web link is

Question: Who will replace Egypt and will pools be changed?
The Egyptian National Olympic Committee has declined the invitation to enter the Olympic Qualification Tournaments. It will be replaced in accordance with the Qualification System mentioned in 1 above, namely Egypt will be replaced by the next highest ranked team in the FIH World Rankings that has not qualified for the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.

I would emphasise again that this procedure has been agreed between FIH and IOC and was also the same procedure that was used for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. In the event of any team withdrawing from a Qualifying Tournament, in accordance with the agreed Qualification System, that team will be directly replaced by a new one and there will be no adjustment to the composition of the other qualifying tournaments. However, there may be an adjustment to the Match Schedule of the affected Qualifying Tournament, depending on the ranking of the incoming team.

Question: How were the pools determined by FIH for the qualifiers?

The teams that are eligible to take part in the Qualifying Tournaments are given in the above mentioned Qualifying System and dependent on the results of the various continental championships played in 2010 (Asian Games) and 2011. The teams are placed in pools dependant on their position in the World Ranking at the time that the venues and dates of tournaments that were announced.

By way of explanation, if 1 represents the highest ranked team for the Qualification Tournaments, 2 the second highest ranked and all the way down to 18, the 18th highest ranked the three pools are composed as follows

1 2 3
6 5 4
7 8 9
12 11 10
13 14 15
18 17 16

Question: On Champions Challenge for next year as well as Champions Trophy, which will the teams be and what is the selection criteria? Is it true that teams that finish 2-5 at Johannesburg will qualify automatically, not taking into consideration the rankings after the Olympic qualifier results as well as Olympic results?

The Qualification System for next year’s Champions Trophy and Champions Challenge 1 (there will not be a Champions Challenge 2 in 2012) is also on the FIH web site. The web link is
I trust that this information is of assistance to you.

Martyn Gallivan
Competitions Manager