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Sports: Canada to play in FIH Nations Cup for men and women next year

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Canada men and women teams will be playing in the 2023-24 FIH Nations Cup Hockey Tournaments to be played in Poland and Spain. While the men’s event will be held from May 31 to June 9, the women’s tournament will be played from June 3 to 9.

The winners of the Nations Cup will play in the 2024-25 FIH Hockey Pro League.

The men’s tournament will be hosted by the city of Gniezno in  Poland and  will involve some of the best teams in the world: Poland, Korea, Malaysia, France, South Africa, Pakistan, Canada, Austria and – as the team relegated from the 2022-23 FIH Hockey Pro League season – New Zealand.

Since, on the basis of the FIH World Rankings, the Polish team had not qualified for this FIH Hockey Nations Cup, the tournament will exceptionally be played with 9 teams. It will run from  May 31  to  June 9, 2024.

Gniezno is no stranger to international tournaments as it hosted the Hockey Series Open in 2018 and the Euro Hockey Championship II in 2021.

The women’s event will take place in Spain from  June  3 to 9. The host city will be announced at a later stage.

The line-up  for the women’s tournament includes Spain, Japan, Korea, Ireland, Chile, Canada, Italy and New Zealand.

The FIH Hockey Nations Cup was launched in 2021 with the aim of offering a top-level competition to the best-ranked teams not participating in the FIH Hockey Pro League and giving the winning team the option to be promoted to the FIH Hockey Pro League the next season, precisely.

India (women) and South Africa (men) won the first edition of the FIH Hockey Nations Cup in 2022.

FIH President Tayyab Ikram said: “On behalf of FIH, I’d like to extend our sincerest thanks to the Hockey Associations of Poland and Spain. We have two fantastic hosts for two magnificent tournaments! I’m looking forward to exciting matches in a wonderful atmosphere!”.

Meanwhile, the FIH has decided to  launch a global and ambitious programme called “Give back to forest” by planting thousands of trees all around the world.

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The initial concept of the programme is that, since hockey was played with wooden sticks during decades, the hockey community should compensate for the trees cut for the production of these sticks by planting new trees.

A first project will be launched in India, with the government of Tamil Nadu committing to planting over 100,000 trees during the ensuing Asia Champions Trophy for men to be played in August.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “The International Hockey Federation’s ‘Give Back to Forest’ programme is a really impressive way for the Federation to make a contribution to fighting climate change which relates directly to their sport. I also applaud the FIH for signing up to the United Nation’s Sports for Climate Action Framework and urge others to follow their lead. Together sport can make a positive contribution to address the challenges of climate change which affects us all.”

FIH President Tayyab Ikram said: “Contributing to a better planet, and especially protecting the environment, is a fundamental part of our Empowerment and Engagement strategy. “Give back to forest” directly results from that vision. I would like to wholeheartedly thank the government of Tamil Nadu for their massive contribution and I invite all hockey members around the world to contribute to this programme too. Together, we can make a difference!”

NEWS

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