FIH unveils schedule for women’s Hockey World League Semi-final

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced the schedule for the women’s Hockey World League (HWL) semi-final, which is due to take place this year in Belgium’s capital Brussels.

The event serves as a Hockey World Cup 2018 qualifier and is set to take place between June 21 and July 2 at the Stade Fallon.

Seven teams have already secured their place at the event, including reigning Hockey World Cup champions The Netherlands, who currently sit at the top of the FIH world rankings.

They will be looking for back-to-back wins in Belgium after winning the HWL semi-final held in Antwerp in 2015.

Australia have also qualified alongside rivals New Zealand, China, South Korea and the host nation.

Spain were the latest team to qualify for the event after finishing top of the standings at their home HWL round two event held in Valencia in February.

Three more teams will qualify following the conclusion of the final HWL round two event, due to take place in West Vancouver in Canada between April 1 and April 9.

The pool stage matches in Brussels will take place between June 21 and 27 before the classification matches begin on June 29, which include the quarter-finals.

The Netherlands are the reigning Hockey World Cup champions ©Getty Images
The Netherlands are the reigning Hockey World Cup champions ©Getty Images

The winners of those quarter-finals will guarantee qualification for the Hockey World Cup 2018.

The semi-finals will then take place on July 1 with the event concluding on July 2 with the final.

The release of the schedule also signals the official launch of ticket sales for the event.

Fans can take advantage of early bird prices which include a 25 per cent discount.

Tickets are priced between €19 (£16.50/$20) and €30 (£26/$32) for adults, €6 (£5.20/$6.30) to €10 (£8.70/$10.60) for children aged between five and 11 and €13 (£11.30/$13.80) to €20 (£17.40/$21.20) for youths aged 12 to 17.

The 2018 women’s and men’s World Cups in England and India respectively will be the first competitions staged under the expanded 16-team format, with four groups of four, allowing the FIH to hold the event over 16 days.

It is designed to increase the amount of spectators for the FIH’s flagship quadrennial competitions outside of the Olympic Games.