India to play Belgium in 2014 Hockey WC campaign opener
Posted on: 05:46 PM IST Jan 31, 2014
New Delhi: India will open their campaign against Belgium in the men's Rabobank Hockey World Cup to be held at The Hague, Netherlands from May 31 to June 15.
According to the competition schedule announced by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Friday, India are placed in a tough Pool A and will face Belgium on May 31, followed by matches against England (June 2), Spain (June 5), Malaysia (June 7) and reigning world champions Australia (June 9).
It will only be the second time that both the men's and women's World Cups will be held at the same time and at the same location. The tournament, consisting of 76 matches, will see six games take place a day in the pool phase running until June 10, and reducing to four during the knock-out phases.
The semi-finals of the men's competition are scheduled for June 13 at the Kyocera Stadium. The women's final will be held on June 14 followed by the men's on June 15.
"Today is a very exciting day for hockey. After a fantastic Hockey World League Final in Delhi, we are here in Holland, a massive hockey nation to announce the schedule of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup," FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather said.
"With 120 days to go, the tournament really starts to come alive. Hockey fans all over the world can plan their diaries whilst players and coaches focus their minds. This World Cup promises to be our biggest yet," he added.