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Dublin: 16 °C Sunday 22 September, 2019
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Ireland men and women draw Canada in Olympic hockey qualifying play-offs

The two-legged ties will take place at the end of October/early November.

Ireland women will have home advantage against Canada.
Ireland women will have home advantage against Canada.
Image: Sportsfile

BOTH IRELAND MEN and women have been drawn against Canada in their respective Olympic hockey qualifying play-offs, as they bid to negotiate the final hurdle on the road to Tokyo 2020.

Ireland men, ranked 13th in the world after a disappointing European Championships campaign, will travel to Vancouver for their two-legged tie, but the women’s team will have home advantage.

By virtue of last year’s World Cup silver medal and eighth-place world ranking, Ireland women were placed in Pot 2 for this afternoon’s draw in Switzerland, and were pitted against Canada, who are 15th in the world.

The International Hockey Federation [FIH] has announced Ireland women will host the two-legged tie in Dublin on 2 and 3 November, but a venue has yet to be confirmed by Hockey Ireland.

UCD is the preferred option following the much-needed upgrade of the National Hockey Stadium, with the new pitch set to be officially opened this week.

As for the men, they will face 10th-placed Canada over two legs on 26 and 27 October as the Green Machine — currently without a head coach following the resignation of Alex Cox — bid to qualify for back-to-back Games.

Canada were the lowest-ranked nation that the men’s and women’s teams could have been drawn against, so both will be pleased with their draw.

The winner of each tie will qualify for the 2020 Olympic hockey tournaments, which will be staged in Japan’s capital city from 25 July to 7 August next year. 

FIH Men’s Olympic qualifiers:

  • 25/26 October: Spain v France, Valencia
  • 26/27 October: Netherlands v Pakistan, Amsterdam
  • 26/27 October: Canada v Ireland, West Vancouver
  • 1/2 November: India v Russia, Bhubaneswar
  • 2/3 November: New Zealand v Korea, Stratford
  • 2/3 November: Germany v Austria, Mönchengladbach
  • 2/3 November: Great Britain v Malaysia, London.

FIH Women’s Olympic qualifiers:

  • 25/26 October: Australia v Russia, Perth
  • 25/26 October: China v Belgium, Changzhou
  • 25/26 October: Spain v Korea, Valencia
  • 2/3 November: India v USA, Bhubaneswar
  • 2/3 November: Germany v Italy, Mönchengladbach
  • 2/3 November: Great Britain v Chile, London
  • 2/3 November: Ireland v Canada, Dublin.

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Ryan Bailey

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