Johor Bahru, the site of the upcoming World League Semi-Final in Malaysia
Johor Bahru, the site of the upcoming World League Semi-Final in Malaysia
(Photo: )

The FIH today confirmed the hosts and dates of three Hockey World League Semi-Final tournaments, which will all take place between June 13 and July 7. These will kick off in the Netherlands, which will host a joint men’s and women’s tournament from June 13-23 in Rotterdam.  The second men's Hockey World League Semi-Finals will be held in Johor Bahru, Malaysia from June 29-July 7. The host and dates of the second women's semi-final tournament will be announced shortly.

The four Semi-Finals will have eight teams each. The top eight men’s and women’s teams in the FIH World Rankings at the beginning of 2011 are automatically qualified for the Hockey World League Semi-Final.

In Rotterdam, the four men’s teams that are confirmed to play are Australia, the Netherlands, Spain and New Zealand. They will be joined by four teams who win their way through from Round 2.The Semi-Final in Malaysia has five teams confirmed as Malaysia earned an automatic berth as the host nation. Joining Malaysia will be Germany, England, Pakistan and Korea along with three teams from Round 2. Malaysia had been scheduled to play in the Round 2 tournament in Elektrostal, Russia, at the end of May and their place in that tournament will now be taken by the Czech Republic.

The four women’s teams that are confirmed to play in Rotterdam are the Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany and Korea, while the teams confirmed for the other Semi-Final tournament are Argentina, England, Australia and China. At both venues, the four qualified teams will be joined by four other teams that qualify from Round 2.

Originally it was announced that Germany would host joint Hockey World League Semi-Final tournaments in late June. However, due to financial restrictions, the Germans announced that they would be unable to host three major international events within a one-month span. The Germans are the host of the Women’s Junior World Cup, which is being held in Mönchengladbach between 27 July and 4 August. As a result of the German’s decision, the second Semi-Final tournaments were split between Malaysia and another host nation.

“We are pleased that we can put our Hockey World League Semi-Final tournaments in the capable hands of these fine host nations,” said FIH President Leandro Negre. “There is not a doubt in my mind that the month of June will be historic and fantastic for our sport. I would especially like to thank Malaysia for stepping into host on short notice. It is further evidence of the spirit of cooperation that we enjoy in international hockey.”

The Hockey World League Round 2 recently kicked off with a women’s five-team tournament in Cape Town, South Africa. Host South Africa and Belgium became the first two teams earn a spot in the Hockey World League Semi-Final through the qualification process. They will be slotted into a Semi-Final based on the World Ranking of the other teams that qualify from the Round 2 events. Belgium is the first team to make it to the Semi-Finals after playing in both Round 1 and Round 2 tournaments.