New Delhi: Indian men's and women's team will play their opening matches against Fiji and Kazakhstan, respectively, in the Hero Hockey World League Round 2 to be held here from Feb 18. China, Ireland, Bangladesh, Oman, Fiji and India are participating in the men's event, while in the women's group, Japan, Russia, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Fiji and India are competing.
India men's team will play their first match against Fiji Feb 18 followed by China Feb 23. The women start their campaign Feb 18 against Kazakhstan and play a tough match against Japan Feb 22. The Hockey World League is a qualifying league for the 2014 FIH World Cup in Hague, the Netherlands.
In all, 54 countries are participating in the men's category and 45 in the women's section. In Round 1, which was held from Aug 17 to Dec 15, 2012, 34 teams participated and played matches in a round-robin format across nine venues. Thirteen teams qualified from Round 1 and will join 10 higher-ranked teams in Round 2.
Twenty-three teams in the FIH Hockey World League Round 2 will compete against each other at four venues - New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, Saint-Germain-en-Laye (France) and Elektrostal (Russia) - from Feb 18 to June 2. Seven teams will qualify from Round 2 and will join nine higher-ranked teams in Round 3 (Semi-Final league), to be held in the Netherlands and Malaysia June 13-July 7.
From there, seven teams will qualify for the final in February 2014. In the women's Round 1, 28 teams participated and played matches in a round-robin format at six venues. Fifteen teams qualified from Round 1 and have joined 10 higher-ranked teams in Round 2.
Twenty-three teams in Round 2 are competing against each other at four venues - Cape Town, New Delhi, Valencia and Rio de Janeiro - Jan 21-March 10. Eight teams will qualify from Round 2 and will join eight higher-ranked teams in the FIH Hockey World League Round 3 (Semi-Final league) June 13-July 7.