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Dutch hosts and World Cup foes await Ireland in EuroHockey Championships

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

19:51 11 May 2020

Ireland have been drawn with the world’s number 1 ranked side the Netherlands in the pool stage of the Women's EuroHockey Championships.

The tournament is due to be staged in Amsterdam in from June 4-13 of 2021.

Joining Ireland and the Dutch in Pool A will be Scotland and Spain.

Ireland's last meeting with Spain at a major tournament saw them win on a shootout to reach a first ever World Cup final.

Drawn in Pool B were Germany, England, Belgium and Italy.

The tournament was due to be held in August of 2021, but has been brought forward to avoid a clash with the rearranged Olympic Games in Tokyo.

It means it will be a busy summer for Sean Dancer's side, who are waiting to become the first Ireland women's hockey side to compete at the Olympics.

Ireland's men sadly have no such worries over a clash.

Their failure to qualify for the Olympics coincided from them dropping out of the top-8 in the world.

They'll now take part in the Men's EuroHockey Championship II in Gniezno, Poland from August 15-21 of 2021. The draws for those pools have not yet been made.

Speaking of the change of dates, European Hockey Federation President Marijke Fleuren said,"It was clear that as soon as the Olympic dates were rescheduled, we (EHF and KNHB) would have to look at alternative dates for the EuroHockey Championships.

"It is like putting together a tricky jigsaw puzzle, each piece simply has to fit, or the full picture is not revealed.

"We are very grateful to all the stakeholders who have shared their views thrashed out many scenarios and come to the best possible solution.

"To pre-empt any questions on the early dates I would add that as the EuroHockey Championships is an FIH World Cup Qualifier, we don’t believe that hosting it post an Olympic Games would be wise or fair to any of our stakeholders, especially our athletes."

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