International Hockey Federation (FIH)’s Executive Board (EB), which met virtually for the first time this year on Monday, made the decision.
“Since the postponement of this event, we’ve been in permanent contact with the South African Hockey Association. Based on the reports about the current evolution of the health situation in the country, the EB has confirmed its decision from its December meeting, namely that the tournament should be postponed — and not canceled — and that South Africa should have priority for hosting it,” FIH CEO Thierry Weil said in a release on Monday.
“We’re aware that the new dates are challenging for some nations — in particular because of Ramadan or the European club calendar — but it was essential for FIH to fully support the wish of the athletes to play. We’re looking forward to a great event with hockey’s female rising stars!,” the FIH CEO said.
There will be 16 teams competing in the competition, including Argentina, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, England, Spain, and Asian Games winners Japan.
The FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup Belgium 2022 has been canceled by FIH and Hockey Belgium. The decision was made after extensive consultations with and recommendations by all official and competent authorities in Belgium and based on the current health situation.
Thierry Weil said: “The FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup is the pinnacle of indoor hockey. Therefore, considering all indoor hockey athletes and fans, it was extremely hard to cancel the 2022 edition planned in just a few weeks. But, of course, we have followed the recommendations of the local authorities. On behalf of FIH, I would like to extend our sincerest thanks to the Belgian organisers, and in particular the Belgian Hockey Association, for their tremendous preparation works and their great dedication.”
On January 31 and February 1, 2022, the first women’s hockey matches of the year, featuring the teams of China and India, will take place in Oman, where both teams will also compete in the newly redirected women’s Asia Cup from Thailand.