Asian champions India has been clubbed along side arch-rivals Pakistan in the same pool in the men’s Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Final 2017 to be held here.
The HWL Semi-Final, a qualifying event for the 2018 World Cup, will be held from June 15 to 25 June at Lee Valley’s Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and will feature 10 of the world’s best men’s hockey teams.
Six teams have already been confirmed so far for this showcase event, including hosts England, Rio Olympic champions Argentina, reigning European champions Netherlands, India, Korea and Pakistan.
Another four teams will qualify from the Hockey World League Round 2 events taking place between January and April next year.
In the HWL Semi-Final, June 18 has been dubbed ‘Super Sunday’ as the first game of the day features India playing against Pakistan. With 11 Olympic titles between them this has historically been one of the fiercest rivalries in the game and it shows no sign of letting up.
India had the edge at the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy and Pakistan will be out for revenge in what will be an action-packed encounter.
Following that up will be hosts England taking on Olympic Champions Argentina.
Besides Pakistan, the other confirmed team in India’s pool — Pool B — is Netherlands.
A lot is at stake for teams participating in these Hockey World League Semi-Finals. Whilst vital FIH Hero World Ranking points will be awarded depending on final standings, the top teams from each Semi-Final will qualify for the 2018 Hockey World Cups in India (men) and England (women) in addition to the Hockey World League Finals taking place in India (men) and New Zealand (women) later in 2017.