India get byes to 2nd round in FIH World League

Lausanne (Switzerland), Feb 22 (PTI) The Indian men''s andwomen''s teams have been handed byes to the second round in theInternational Hockey Federation''s World League scheduled tostart next year.

The event will give every member of the FIH anopportunity to play for a place in the World Cup or theOlympic Games.

During the 2012-2013 period, the World League willqualify four teams directly into the 2014 World Cup in TheHague, Netherlands.

"We are delighted to be moving ahead with the WorldLeague competition," said FIH Chief Executive Officer KellyFairweather said in a statement.

"We have long wanted to start an internationalcompetition that goes over multiple rounds and gives everynation a change to reach our elite events. With the WorldLeague, we have just that," he added.

The FIH World League, previously called the World Series,will be played in four rounds.

The first two rounds will take place next year, while thethird and fourth rounds will conclude the cycle in 2013. Theevent will include men and women''s teams.

Teams have until April 1 to confirm their participationin the FIH World League.

"The men''s and women''s teams ranked first through eighthin the FIH World Ranking will receive an automatic bye toRound Three.

"Teams ranked in the next tier, 9th-16th will get anautomatic ticket to Round Two. FIH World Ranking points willbe awarded at each level. The details of the points will beannounced at a later date." the FIH said.

Based on this, India have got byes to the second round inboth and men''s and women''s section.

The number of first round tournaments will depend on theentries received by the FIH. .

"It has long been the ambition of the FIH to give everycountry a chance to make it to the highest possible level,"said Fairweather.

"The World League gives the smaller nations valuableinternational experience, while allowing them to have thechance to play the role of David against some of the Goliathcountries," he added. .

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