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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 08/04/2014
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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Oman will host the 2014 FIH Hockey World League Round 1 from September 1-10, according to the Oman Hockey Association (OHA).

The matches will be played at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex (SQSC).

Speaking to Muscat Daily on Monday, Mohy Saad Zaghlool, the OHA's technical director, said, ''The International Hockey Federation (FIH) had earlier asked us to host the competition from June 15-21. But we informed the world body that the sultanate will be experiencing peak summer in June and suggested later dates. The FIH has finally confirmed the schedule and it will now be held in September ahead of the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.''

Zaghlool added, ''It will still be hot in Muscat in September, but comparatively the weather will be better than what it would have been in June.

''To ensure the visiting teams don't feel too much of the summer's heat, we will host all the matches after sunset - there will be two games daily, with 6pm and 8pm starts.''

Last month, the OHA had asked the FIH if it could host the event in January, 2015, but as the world body had already scheduled Round 2 for December-February, there was no option but to host Round 1 by the end of this summer.

A total of eight teams are set to participate in the tournament, including hosts Oman. Qatar, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran and Armenia are expected to feature in the event.

However, the FIH will only confirm the final list of teams by the end of June.

If eight nations take part, the World League Round 1 will be played in a two-pool round-robin format. In case there are less number of teams, it will be a single-pool event.

Oman to organise three-team meet:

Following its qualification and runner-up finish in last month's qualifying tournament in Dhaka, Bangladesh for the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea, the national team's next assignment will be a short three-team tournament at home.

The OHA will host a competition in June that will feature Oman alongside a top team each from Pakistan and Singapore. Oman was part of the six teams in the eight-nation qualifying meet that progressed to the Asian Games, but it lost 1-6 to Bangladesh in the final.

''We were deeply saddened by the team's poor show in the final in Dhaka,'' Zaghlool said. ''We hope the players will bounce back. We are relying on our national coach Oliver Kurtz and his preparatory programme in the coming months for our Asian Games campaign [from September 19-October 4]. In addition, we are organising this three-team event in June to help the players get more match practic


 






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