The Qatar Hockey Federation announced that the country will be hosting the 2017 Indoor Hockey Asia Cup next week.
Abdullah al-Khater, the Secretary General of the Qatar Hockey Federation informed the Qatar News Agency (QNA) that the country will be hosting the the Indoor Hockey Asia Cup this year. It will mark the first time the State of Qatar hosts a hockey tournament of this scale, and will be expecting the participation of eleven men’s teams and six women’s teams.
Also known as the ASHF Indoor Asia Cup, the Indoor Hockey Asia Cup is an international men’s and women’s indoor field hockey tournament that is organized and governed by the Asian Hockey Federation (ASHF), which consists of 31 Member National Associations in all regions of the Asian continent.
The cup was introduced and first held in 2008, where only men’s teams competed. Women’s teams were incorporated a year later, in 2009.
Take place between April 24 and 29 at the Aspire Covered Sport Hall, Aspire Zone, in Doha, the cup will include both the men’s and women’s tournaments.
Qatar has been drawn into Group A, along with Iran, Malaysia and Oman. Iran is currently the most decorated Asian team, having won all six Indoor Hockey Asia Cup titles to date, and will be top contender this year.
Other top contender include Malaysia, with a history of 4 silvers and 1 bronze, Uzbekistan, with 1 silver and 4 bronzes, and Kazakhstan who has secured 1 silver and 1 bronze medal at the games.
Qatar’s highest achieved position in the tournament was fourth place, during the 2015 games in Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan.
The full list of teams includes newcomers, Australia, India, the Philippines and South Korea, as well as regulars Chinese Taipei and Thailand.
The Kazakhstan women’s team is top seed in their category, having won 4 golds and 1 silver.
The two 2017 Indoor Hockey Asia Cup finalists will be qualifying to play at the Hockey Indoor World Cup 2018, which will be held in Berlin, Germany, from February 7 to 11.