MADRAS, India: A new system of qualification for participation in the Olympic Games in hockey has been introduced and each continent would be represented by at least one country, according to the resolutions adopted at the International Hockey Federation (FIH) meeting held at Brussels from April 28 to 30,
Mr. M, Muneer Sait, a member of the FIH Competition Committee, who returned here after attending the meeting, told PTI that the men’s teams for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games would be the eight automatic qualifiers the host country, winner of the Seoul Olympic Games, and the title winners of the fifth All African Games, 11th Pan-American Games, 11th Asian Games, sixth European Cup, Oceania Tournament and the seventh World Cup and the countries that ranked highest at an Olympic qualifying tournament of 12 countries to be held 12 to eight months prior to the Olympic Games.
Hitherto, the teams that place first four in the Olympic Games and World Cup tournament and teams with good track record in FIH recognized tournaments were considered for participation in the Olympics.
The selection of the countries for the Olympic qualifying tournament would be based on the ranking at the previous world and intercontinental cups. The countries already automatically qualified for the 1992 Olympic Games would not be considered for participation in the qualifying tournament.
‘The same formal would be applied to the women’s section of the games, and the automatic qualifiers would be the host country, gold medalist of the Seoul Olympics and winner of the seventh World Cup, Mr. Sait, who has also been appointed Judge (hockey) for the Seoul Olympics, said.
Spain would be the 12th men’s team for the Seoul Olympics. It qualified by defeating Poland in the playoff matches by 31 and 21 margins on April 24 and May 1, Mr. Sait said.
‘The FIH council has inducted Mrs. Vidya Stokes, President of the Indian Women’s Hockey Federation, as member of the women’s competition committee of the world’s supreme hockey body.
Mr. Sait said Mr. A.S, Bawa, Indian international umpire from New Delhi, had been appointed the neutral umpire for the four nation tournament to be held at Man helm, West Germany, from June 17 to 19, while Mr. Satinder Walia of Bombay had been withdrawn from the list of World Cup umpire. However, Mr. Walia had to prove himself in the next tournament before he could be deputed to officiate by the FIH, according to the decision taken by the FIH’s Umpires Committee.
Mr. Sait said Argentina, South Korea, West Germany and the Soviet Union were the teams that would play in the four nation tournament.
‘As far as up gradation of Indian umpires to international cadre was concerned, the list submitted by the Indian Hockey Federation reportedly reached the FIH after the stipulated time and it would now be taken up at the next Congress to be hold prior to the Seoul Olympic Games.
‘According to the FIH calendar, the fourth Intercontinental Cup would be held at New Jersey, U.S.A. from July 410.
India, Mr. Sait said would have to qualify in this tournament for a place in the Seventh World Cup to be held at Lahore, during February, 1990. Berlin would be the venue for 1989 Champions Trophy, which would be staged by Australia, and Pakistan in 1990 and 1991, respectively. The Junior World Cup would be held in 1989 at Kuala Lumpur, and Egypt from ‘African zone and Argentina and Cuba from pan American sector have already qualified for this tourney.
The qualifiers from Asia (New Delhi November, 1988), Europe (Spain, July, 1988) and Oceania (Australia, November, 1988) would be decided later.
The second Champions Trophy for women would be held from September 1 to 10, next year in Frankfurt. The seventh World Cup for women will be held from May 2 to 13, 1990,
India’s qualification for a place in the tournament would depend on its performance in the third InterContinental Cup to be held at New Delhi from November | to 10, 1989. Besides India, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, USA, plus the first seventh ranked countries in the International Cup to be held in Pandove, Italy, would participate in the InterContinental Cup Tournament at New Delhi, Mr. Sait added.