While February’s planned FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup Belgium 2022 event has been sadly cancelled due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19, there is still plenty of wonderful international hockey set to take place in 2022.
With two women’s FIH World Cups (one senior, one junior), FIH Hockey Pro League fixtures, the FIH Hockey5s in Lausanne, the FIH Nations Cups as well as various continental championship events that will serve as direct qualifiers for either the upcoming FIH World Cups or the Olympic Games Paris 2024, there is plenty to look forward to.
Here is a snapshot summary of the year ahead for international hockey.
There is some very significant outdoor action set to take place in January. Tickets to the upcoming FIH World Cups will be on offer at the Men’s and Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (17/23 Jan – Accra, Ghana) and Pan American Cup (19/30 January – Santiago, Chile) events, adding extra importance to these wonderful competitions.
The Women’s Asia Cup – another high-profile World Cup qualification competition – will be played between 21-28 January in Muscat, Oman, having recently been switched from Bangkok, Thailand.
Between 31 January and 26 June, the FIH Hockey Pro League will dominate proceedings, with well over 100 matches taking place at locations all over the world. India women make their competition debut against China, with their double header taking place in Muscat, Oman – where the two teams will have just completed participating in the Asia Cup – on 31st January and 1st February.
Spain women’s debut will take place in February on home soil in Valencia, with reigning Olympic, World, European and FIH Hockey Pro League champions the Netherlands being their opponents.
The South African city of Potchefstroom will see hosts South Africa and fellow debutants Canada in action, with the Netherlands, India and Germany all travelling to ‘Potch’ for games between 4-17 February.
The FIH Hockey Pro League matches will not be the only high-level competition being played in Potchefstoom this year, with the North-West University venue also playing host to the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup competition between 2-13 April 2022.
The competition, which was originally set for December 2021 but was postponed for COVID-19 reasons, will see 16 of the best junior international teams in the world competing for the title in the first ever World Cup event to take place on African soil.
As well as being a busy month for the FIH Hockey Pro League, June will also see a very significant event taking place in Lausanne, Switzerland – the home city of the International Hockey Federation (FIH). Between 4-5 June, the FIH Hockey 5s Lausanne competition will see ten international teams representing four continents as the first ever global showcase of the Hockey5s format is staged on the Place de la Navigation, an iconic location on the shores of Lac Léman, bordering the Olympic Capital.
Less than a week after the final FIH Hockey Pro League fixtures of the 2021-22 season, we have arguably the biggest competition of the season, as the Netherlands and Spain jointly host the 15th FIH Women’s Hockey World Cup. With action taking place both in Amsterdam and Terrassa, this promises to be a World Cup like no other, as 16 nations battle it out for the crown.
The men’s FIH Hockey World Cup is scheduled for early 2023, with the Indian cities of Bhubaneswar and Rourkela staging the event.
Between 28 July and 8 August, the XXII Commonwealth Games will take place in Birmingham, England, with Australia’s men and New Zealand’s women aiming to retain their respective titles.
More of those coveted tickets to the Olympic Games Paris 2024 will be up for grabs at another massive continental event: the Asian Games. Being played in Hangzhou, China, between 10-25 September, the best men’s and women’s teams from the region will be stepping onto the turf.
The final FIH events of the year will be the inaugural FIH Hockey Nations Cups, with the Women event featuring Canada, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, South Africa and hosts Spain going head-to-head in Valencia. The winning teams of the first FIH Hockey Nations Cup, Men and Women, will be promoted to the 2023/24 FIH Hockey Pro League (provided they meet the necessary requirements for it). Details about the men’s FIH Nations Cup competition will be revealed in the coming weeks.
*Source: FIH website.