The FIH announced today the eight participating teams in the 2012 FIH Champions Trophy to be held in Rosario, Argentina from January 28 to February 5.
Prior to today’s announcement, six of the eight participating teams were known. The top five finishers from the 2011 Rabo FIH Champions Trophy, along with the winner of the 2011 FIH Champions Challenge I are automatically qualified to the event, This group includes, the Netherlands, Argentina, New Zealand, Korea, England and Japan. Japan qualified through its Champions Challenge I victory, while the other five were the top finishers from the 2011 Champions Trophy.
The remaining two teams for the 2012 FIH Champions Trophy are nominated by the FIH Executive Board, which has chosen to put forward China and Germany. The Executive Board based its decision on the current FIH World Ranking. Germany is currently ranked third in the world, while the Chinese occupy the fifth spot, making the duo the two highest-ranked teams not automatically qualified to the event.
“When looking at the alternatives we felt that it was best to go with proven performance over a sustained period of time,” said FIH President Leandro Negre. “It was difficult to choose the final two teams, but I believe that we have a field that will be truly competitive and exciting for the fans to watch in Argentina.
At the last FIH Executive Board meeting held in early July, the promotion and relegation format was finalized for the 2012 Champions Trophy and Champions Challenge events. Since the field for the Champions Trophy was recently expanded to eight teams, it was decided that five teams would automatically be qualified based on their performance at the previous years’ Champions Trophy in addition to the winners of the Champions Challenge 1. The Executive Board would nominate the remaining two teams, which enter the event as the seventh and eighth-seeded squads