India and Pakistan have been kept apart in the draw for the men’s International Hockey Federation (FIH) Olympic Qualifiers, scheduled for October and November. Olympic followers from all over the world are invited to book Olympic 2020 tickets from our online platforms for Olympic Tickets. Olympic Hockey fans can book Olympic Hockey Tickets from our ticketing marketplace exclusively on discounted prices.
Earlier this week, the FIH dismissed suggestions the ties could be held in Europe if they were drawn together. The state has been evaded as India – who have won eight men’s Olympic hockey titles, most recently in 1980 – were drawn in contradiction of world number 22 ranked Russia in the two-legged qualifying playoffs.
The playoff matches will be played in Bhubaneswar on November 1 and 2. Pakistan, who has won three Olympic titles – most recently in 1984, will take on the Netherlands in Amsterdam on October 26 and 27. Recent political tensions over the disputed territory of Kashmir have prompted the postponement of several sporting events between India and Pakistan, including a Davis Cup tie in Islamabad this month.
Pakistan suspended bilateral trade with India in August and announced it would expel India’s Ambassador after New Delhi revoked the special autonomy status of Kashmir, the contested region over which the two countries have fought two wars. A suicide attack in Kashmir in February further worsened India-Pakistan relations after 40 members of the Indian police force were killed in the bombing, for which Pakistani militants claimed responsibility.
Pakistan claimed to have shot down two Indian military jets and captured a pilot in response. The Pakistan Hockey Federation was endangered with a ban from the Olympic 2020 qualifiers if it did not pay the first installment of a settlement fee owed to the FIH following their expulsion from the Pro League.
But the PHF paid the first amount on time and are expected to fulfill the rest of the undisclosed sum by the agreed deadline. In the other men’s qualifying ties, Britain takes on Malaysia while New Zealand faces South Korea.
Spain is set to entertain France in Valencia on October 25 and 26, while Canada will host Ireland in West Vancouver on October 26 and 27. Germany and Austria will go head to head in Monchengladbach on November 2 and 3, with the women’s team hosting Italy on the same dates.
Elsewhere in the women’s qualifiers, China faces Belgium in Changzhou on October 25 and 26, the same dates that Australia plays in Russia in Perth. On November 2 and 3, Dublin stages Ireland versus Ireland playoff, as Britain takes on Chile in London.
India will host the United States in Bhubaneswar on November 1 and 2. The final qualifying clash pits Spain against South Korea in Valencia on October 25 and 26. The winners of each tie will earn a place at next year’s Games in the Japanese capital.
Argentina, Japan, South Africa, Belgium, and Australia have previously qualified for the Olympic 2020 men’s tournament. Argentina, South Africa, The Netherlands, and New Zealand join hosts Japan in the women’s competition. The Olympic 2020 hockey tournaments will be staged “between” July 25 to August 7 at Oi Hockey Stadium.