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Qualfication for Athens 2004 Olympic Games clarified. There are 62 comments on this articlex62
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Planet Field Hockey
October 20, 2003 3 out of 5
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By Hari Kant

The Olympic qualification process for the Athens Games has changed from previous Olympics. Here is a complete look at the qualification procedure and tournaments as well as the teams that have already qualified.

For both the Men's and Women's Olympic Games, the champions of the five continental championships taking place in 2003 are automatically qualified for the Olympics. After this the next ranked teams in the world based on the previous World Cup rankings will play in the corresponding Olympic Qualification tournament for Men or Women. The Men's tournament will have 12 teams and the Women's 10 teams.

For the first time, the FIH has determined that the host Greek teams do not automatically qualify for the Games. Their qualification process is outlined below.

Men's Olympic Qualification

Korea - Winner 14th Asian Games, October 12th, 2002
Argentina - Winner 14th Pan-American Games - August 13th, 2003
Germany - Winner 9th European Nations Cup September 13, 2003
Australia - Winner 3rd Oceania Cup - September 20, 2003
Egypt - Africa 8th All Africa Games - October 16th, 2003
Men's Olympic Qualifier: March, 2004. Madrid, Spain

Women's Olympic Qualification

China - Winner 14th Asian Games, October 12th, 2002
Australia - Winner 3rd Oceania Cup - May 29th, 2003
Argentina - Winner 14th Pan-American Games - August 13th, 2003
Netherlands - Winner 6th European Nations Cup September 13, 2003
South Africa - Africa 8th All Africa Games - October 17th, 2003
Women's Olympic Qualifier: 19-28 March, 2004. Manukau, New Zealand


The teams able to participate in the Olympic qualifying tournaments are those ranked highest at the last World Cup and World Cup qualifying tournaments.

Those teams are at present (in ranking order):
Men (12 teams): Netherlands, Pakistan, Great Britain, Malaysia, New Zealand, India, Spain, Japan, South Africa, Belgium, Poland, Cuba. (Reserves: 1. Canada 2. France)

Women (10 teams): Great Britain, South Korea, Germany, Spain, United States, Japan, New Zealand, Ukraine, Ireland, Russia. (Reserves: 1. India 2. France 3. Canada)

The hosts do not qualify automatically for the Olympic Games but both Greek teams will have the opportunity to qualify.

Greece will have to play the last-ranked team for the Olympic qualifier in a best of three play-off in the week before the Olympic qualifying tournaments.

For the Men that will be Cuba and for the Women that will be Russia.

If either Greek team wins, then they will automatically qualify and one less Olympic spot is available in the qualification tournament.
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Comments on this article
hockey no hoper
09-16-2003  3:38 am
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Dazed and confused
1. Can someone pls confirm that Korea are the Asian qualifier - I thought that the upcoming Asia Cup in Malaysia will decide the Asian qualifier. If Korea are the qualifier then the Asia Cup 2003 has not much relevance. However common sense would suggest that the most recent continental tournament should determine the Olympic qualifier.

2. How should Greece qualify for the Olympics just by beating a team that has a very outside chance of making the Olympics (i.e. the last ranked team from the qualifier). I thought the Olympics were a showcase event for Hockey where the best teams should be present - maybe they should have a play-off after the qualifier against the 12th qualifying team.
mo
09-16-2003  10:50 am
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qualification
Once again vague, inconsistent and confusing qualification guidelines are set down by whoever is in charge....when will the madness end. Its not only the Olympics that suffers this, but the World Cup, Panam Games & Commonwealth Games
fan
09-16-2003  11:04 am
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so greece will either play, cuba or canada prior to march tournament in madrid, where will this three game series be played. is this correct
Jalandhari
09-16-2003  11:16 am
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The Asian Cup winner gets automatic qualification for World Cup 2005 Overall the system FIH has developed sucks their whole purpose of this exercise is that winning team changes by the time next big tournament comes in that case Asian Cup winner gets qulification for World Cup in 2 years who in FIH is thinking this team will not change in 2 years I do not understand logic.
Naeem
09-16-2003  1:03 pm
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Holland?
Did not Holland qualify as defending champion from Sydney 2000?
Looks like the rule has changed.
Any Comments?
Pynchon
09-16-2003  1:48 pm
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Cuba/Canada
also confused...shouldn't Canada be ranked ahead of Cuba at this point based on the Pan Am Games results?
Cross Eyed
09-16-2003  2:48 pm
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Cuba participated in the last WC whereas Canada failed to qualify. (Cuba won Americas Cup, and birth to WC, Canada failed to make a spot at the WCQ)

Therefore Cuba is 'ranked' higher because of their participation in the WC, in spite of Canada's silver at Pan Ams.

So having said that, go South Africa go!
Aalam
09-16-2003  3:12 pm
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First Article of Hari?
Is it first article of Hari? am i right . hari plz confirm it
Ian Bird
09-16-2003  3:47 pm
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Have I got this right on the men's side...

Assuming that Australia and South Africa win, Canada will play Greece in the best of 3 series.

Assuming Canada wins, there are 7 spots open at the qualifier. And Canada would then carry on to compete for one of those spots.

What would be the rankings of the 12 competing nations at the qualifier, under this scenario?

Am I right that the continental tournaments only matter in that they determine the winner- the continental representative? Other results are not considered because previous WC results prevail. For example, France places 5th at Euros but is ranked lower than Poland and Belgium for entry into the qualifier.
message for hockey no hoper
09-16-2003  8:36 pm
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Korea qualify as Asian Games Champions, not as Asia Cup (different competition winners).
I can't understand why there isn't another spot for the Asia Cup champions though-Asia is easily the strongest continent for hockey-Korea, Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Japan, China...they are all excellent teams-it seems strange when only 2 teams compete for the Oceanic region (Australia and New Zealand).
That said the Asia cup is relevant because it could technically alter the world rankings to put another Asian team forward for the qualifiers.
Yan Huckendubler
09-16-2003  8:46 pm
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World Ranking System
Ian, I agree with you: it is strange to see Canada ranked behind Cuba, and France behind Belgium and Poland, which contradicts the final standings of the most recent continental/FIH competitions?

I suppose that this will be avoided when an official permanent World Ranking System will be in place. For any tournament, you?ll always be able to rely on the current ranking for qualification and pool seeding.
hockey no hoper
09-16-2003  11:16 pm
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Someone thanks for your reply
Yes I am sure that Asia is the strongest continent for hockey. However i would like to know your reasoning - what have been the past results of these teams in the last couple of years?

If we ignore europe then asia will be the best.

What is strange about having only two teams in one continent? Has God / evolution failed in this aspect - how dare God only have two hockey playing nations in one continent.

Maybe the asian teams should play tour other countries more to gauge how good they are.
message for no hoper
09-17-2003  12:36 am
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no hope indeed....
Sorry if I touched a nerve there-I wasn't meaning to offend...but Asian countries tour as much if not more than other countries, as a matter of fact.

My reasoning for claiming that Asia is the strongest continent is, first of all, Asia regularly fields 3 teams in the Champions League, more than any other continent. I know Korea did not feature on this occasion but perhaps you were not aware that Korea have, in their typical manner, ruthlessly restructured their team since the Asian Games in preparation for the next big tournament (the Olympics) and so you won't find many of the same faces who represented Korea a couple of years ago in the same team. Secondly, Malaysia possesses the strongest domestic league in the world, not to mention the fact that even in China and Japan hockey is a professional sport. You seem to think that Europe is stronger, and yes, I agree that Holland and Germany are the two strongest individual nations, but England, the third ranked team in Europe, didn't even beat Japan at the last world cup, who are only ranked 5th in Asia.

As for the Oceanic issue-sorry, no hoper, if you failed to comprehend that I was referring to the fact that it seems unfair that so many of the world's top teams in Asia compete for one single qualification berth where as Australia and New Zealnd only have to compete against each other-and what does this have anything to do with evolution anyway?

Maybe you should learn more about these issues within the game and gauge your own comments.

PS. I am not Asian-just in case you are going to accuse me of supporting the Asian hockey conspiracy.
Cintas
09-17-2003  1:06 am
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Malaysia's hockey league
Malaysia has the straonest domestic league in the world? What are you smoking? Please explain your logic.
HOCKEYFORALL
09-17-2003  1:47 am
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About Greece and the rest of issues
Yes Greece will have to play best of three with most propably Canada men and Russia women prior to the qualification tournaments in Madrid and Aukland. If they win, the places that will be challenged will be 6 for the men and 4 for the women. If they loose then the places become 7 and 5 respectively. It has been indicated that the play-offs will be played in Madrid and Aukland prior to the tournaments so that the teams will know beforehand how many places will be available for Athens. There is a possibility that the play-offs could be played in Greece again prior to the qualification tournament but this is up to the two countries concerned.

Now as far as the issue of Greece's right of automatic participation no ones says anything. Everybody mambles about the good level that the teams should have. Well can you tell me why a country bids to host the Olympics? There are a few reasons. To improve its infrastructure in sport facilities and other sectors, to introduce sports to its own people that have not been popular till then, to promote its culture, tourism, heritage etc. If I am not mistaken many other countries that hosted the Olympics in the past did not go through any qualification process for their hockey teams or other team sports for that matter. Look at the USA men's hockey teams in 1984 in LA they had no hockey they lost all their matches and no one for a moment thought that they diminished the sport. Twelve years later they did the same in Atlanta no improvement lost all the games with lots of Dutch players naturilised as US nationals I think and again no one said anything. The Australians had no handball past yet they did participate. Greece is no good in badmington softball and a few other sports yet the International Federations never made it an issue. So if at the end the Greek teams are eliminated in the play-offs and the qualification places increase by one everybody should be happy because they will have the opportunity to see better hockey without the weak Greek sides. Gosh, who remembers which were the teams that came last in the last couple of Olympiads? If you really want to see top hockey then have all the games played elsewhere and send only the teams that will challenge the medals. After all this is what the spectators and the TV die for. In the Champions Trophy and the Champions Challenge, two of the most prestigious top quality tournaments the host has the right to enter its teams which might not had the right to participate if the tournaments were not held in their country. The poor Olympic spirit has gone down the drain for the sake of marketing and TV viewrship rates. Good luck to all of you
hockey no hoper
09-17-2003  5:29 am
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re: Messenger
Thanks for your comments.

I totally agree with you when you say that Malaysia "possesses the strongest domestic league in the world." Especially if you take their international performance into account - havent the Malaysian national team won only one game all year? Maybe their national league is too tough - that all the national players are too tired to play internationals?

I would like to know who are the three Asia teams that "have regularly featured" in the Champions Trophy. Hasnt India just made it back there for the past two years after a long absence. I understand that in 2002, there were 3 asian teams and do not know of the last time that 3 asian teams played in the champions trophy. When did an asian team last win the champions trophy/world cup/olympics - 94 when Pak won World Cup? Long time between saki then?

Korea - I think that you will find the same faces - just different names.

I think Spain are ok in international terms as well.
hockey supporter
09-17-2003  8:51 am
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to hockey no hoper
Malaysia has the strongest league in the World? This is nonsens. Ask the Pakistan, Malaysian or Indian players, who played in the European leagues in Germany, Netherlands or Spain. Those three are the best leagues in the world. You say, Asia is easily the strongest continent for hockey???? So you are an expert, he? Europe is stronger, maybe not much stronger, but look for the last competitions. Germany is World Champion, Netherlands is Olympic Champion. Spain, England, Poland, Scotland have very strong teams, better than Malaysia, Japan or China. So don't crash realism, please. Asia is good in hockey, but not number one.
Dutch fan
09-17-2003  10:16 am
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sorry no hoper
sorry, hockey no hoper, but you are totally wrong. I spoke with Sohail Abbas during the Champions Trophy and he told me that the German league is much more professional than the leagues in Asia. Also the Malaysian Hockey Federation has send their best players to Europe to get experience in the strong European leagues. So hockey supporter is absolutely correct.
hockey no hoper
09-17-2003  9:02 pm
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thanks for your comments
Sorry to confuse some of you but my comments re the MHL were for "message for no hoper" who claimed that Malaysia has the strongest league in the world. If you read the paragraph in its entirety you will see that it is an entire piss take.

I totally agree with all you guys that say that Europe is tougher.
yen
09-19-2003  12:44 am
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what about indian womens team
hey u have forgetten about indian womens team
YEN
09-19-2003  4:51 am
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SOMETHING WRONG SOME WHERE
wOMENS HOCKEY QUALIFIER IS REDUCED TO 10 NATIONS AND EVEN OLYMPIC WOMENS HOCKEY TO 10.
I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY NOT 12 NATIONS IN EACH. DO WE LOVE HOCKEY OR NOT.
AT one place IHF allow domnic rep to play in pan american games and lose to all teams by 12 goals or more . On the other side they reduce hockey olympics to just 10 for womens.

Indian womens team ranked 11th atleast does not figure even in qualifiers . i dont understand
will Hari or some one expalain to me . i am sure Indian womens hockey team is good enough to paly in qualifies atleasT
I AM WAITING HARI
Yan Huckendubler
09-19-2003  8:35 am
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India (Women)
1) The Indian Women's Team didn't participate in the last World Cup after the well-publicized play-off against USA, so their world ranking cannot be higher than 17th.

2) The FIH doesn't decide the number of teams at the Olympic Games, they can only lobby the IOC to obtain more. The women's competition grew from 6 teams in 1984, to 8 in 1988, 1992 and 1996, then finally to 10 in 2000 in Sydney.

With the IOC quest to reduce the overall number of athletes and accredited persons at the Games, there is little chance that this number will increase again: adding two teams would add at the very least 50 accredited persons, a huge number when other sports are asked to cut events and participants.

(Note that I don?t say that it is right to have 12 men?s teams and only 10 women?s teams. I am just pointing out that it is useless to blame the FIH: they are running the technical side of the hockey competition, not the overall Olympic show).
Shorty
09-19-2003  9:57 am
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Re: Ian Bird
Yo birdy! If our friendly South Africans win the Africa games would we possibly see you and your family in Madrid for a little hockey action?
mo
09-19-2003  10:33 am
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if only all other areas relating to the FIH's competition structure had such an eloquent and informed person giving us this information. Do they have a communications specialist on board?
YEN
09-19-2003  11:42 pm
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DEAR YAN HUCKANDUBLER
THANKS , I AM NOT TRYING TO BLAME IHF , I AM JUST TALKING ABOUT HOCKEY.
IN WORLD OF SPORTS WE NEED TO BRING HOCKEY UP.
IT S NEGLETED SPORT , YES I KNOW , BUT IF IHF IS STONG THEY GO FAR.
IF I AM NOT MISTAKEN INDIAN WOMENS TEAM IS RANKED 11TH OR 12 TH.
CHECK UNOFFICIAL RANKING
ANY WAY WE ARE BETTEN THEN STAND BY RUSSIA FRANCE CANADA AND ALSO BETTER THEN URKRAIN AND IRELAND.

IN MY MIND FOLLOWING IS WOMENS RANKING

1. NETHERLAND
2. SPAIN
3. CHINA
4.AUSTRALIA
5.GERMANY
6.ARGENTINA
7.ENGLAND
8.SOUTH KOREA
9 NZ
10.UNITED STATES
11.INDIA

ANY BETS PLEASE
I CAN BET MY ONE YEAR SALARY yan
Ian Bird
09-22-2003  9:58 am
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coming to madrid
shorty- i'll be in madrid to cheer on the squad if all goes to plan. golden too, plus the kids.
Simbas
09-22-2003  11:45 am
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qualification for olympics
It's all smoke and mirrors, not to mention moving goalposts!
joseph
09-22-2003  1:37 pm
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boo!! Malaysia
For the life of me, I don't think Malaysia deserves a place in the Olympic qualifiers. They lost to Jadpan 3-2 today in the Asia Cup and the squad has no business being in Spain.

I am not saying Japan is no good. On the contrary, they have improved leaps and bounds and they deserve to be in Spain.

Malaysia played Asia Cup defending champs, Korea to a 1-1 draw and suddenly everyone was saying they were going to make the last four, heck even the final.

They were brought down to earth by Japan and I dread to think what this Lissek-coached team has to offer anymore.

Please note that our domestic league is one of the most poorly organised leagues that attracts no sponsorship or television coverage despite the presence of several foreign stars. The marketing is horrendous.

It is an ill-planned league that does more harm than good to hockey here.
Naeem
09-22-2003  2:46 pm
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Cuba is in...
Cuba is in now as Australia qualified. What is next? Canada.
Hope South Africa will also qualify to give Canada a chance.
Good Luck Canada.
Jossy99
09-22-2003  3:28 pm
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come on great britain they will win lol
andy
09-23-2003  2:04 am
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which teams are participating in next 2004 champions trophy
hello guys culd u pls tell me where is the next edition of champions trophy and who are the teams that are going to play in the next chapions trophy.
canada fan!!
09-23-2003  10:46 am
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pools for qualifier
Does anyone know if the pools will according to the current world rankings??
HOCKEYFORALL
09-24-2003  6:48 am
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Reply to Andy
If I am not mistaken the next champions trophy has been earmarked for Lahore in Pakistan a couple of months after the Olympics, possibly November. The teams that qualify are the various champions in top level events i.e the gold medalist of the Olympic Games the Winner of the World cup, the winner of the Champions Challenge the host country and two more that I am no quite sure as to what criteria they need to meet. As from this year the team that will finish last will be relegated to the Champions Challenge. Germany should have been relagated as they came last in Amstelveen but will be included again because the won the World cup in Kuala Lumpur. So far Spain (winners of the Champions Challenge in South Africa, Germany (winners of the World cup) and Pakistan are in.
Yan Huckendubler
09-24-2003  9:59 am
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2nd thought about India (W)
Looking back at the teams for the Women?s Olympic Qualifier, it does seem weird that India didn?t at least appear in the reserve list: they didn?t play in the World Cup after losing a play-off with USA, so should be ranked lower than the last team that played in the WC (Russia). Nevertheless, they finished ahead of France and Canada at the World Cup Qualifier, so shouldn?t they at least be in the Reserve list ahead of these two countries?
YEN
09-27-2003  9:32 pm
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TO Yan Huckendubler
DEAR
thanks for second thought.
yes indian womens team did not qualify for WC, that does not mean we should be ranked below last team russia.
In between indian womens team won CG GOLD - FROM TEAMS FROM AUST , NZ , ENGLAND.
we also finished 3rd in CT QUALIFER in SOUTH AFRICA 2002. USA finished below us.

INstead of motivation , IHF does demotivate.
I am not asking for direct entry into OLY but atleast space in qualifier for womens team , I am sure u also agree India is better then many nations playing qualifier.
ANY WAY THANKS A LOT yan for 2nd thought
considerate
09-29-2003  3:02 am
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DID YOU KNOW?
rumour has it that the greek womens team has been "let down" by their federation and there is no longer an official training team. Is this true? Is anything being done to support them while their federation just ruines all their effort and time spent in prepraration for the qualifier? will their still be a quilifier even if the team does not exist? does the FIH know about this? and if so why are they allowing such an unproffesional act to take place on professional athlets fighting to play in the olympic games (or at least take part in the qualifier) that shouldn't even had to be a fight as they should have automatic entery.
an activ reader and player of NATIONAL TEAM
09-29-2003  11:21 am
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IT IS TRUE
HOW DARE ARE WE CHANGING RULES AND THAT NOBODY GIVES A DAMN !!!

IT IS TRUE !! and the only truth !!!
------------

That a hosting country qualifies directly for the olympics, that pressure , financial, has!! never!! been profitable to sportdevelopment.
Imagine YOU, anykind of reader and hockeyplayer whether you are Dutch, Australian, Korean, Canadian, Marokkan, South-African, German, Argentinian etc...IT DOESN'T MATTER, hosting the Olympics , organizing tournaments, trainings, spending TONS of money for the best of your selection and then suddenly the international federation 2-3 years before the event decides to put pressure !!
WHERE IS THE OLYMPIC SPIRIT, IF PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO CHANGE IT , THEN NEVER HAS TO BE IT CALLED OLYMPIC GAMES anymore .

IF RULES ARE to be changed change them on time, for the sake of sport not 2-3 years before an event!!


I suppose Mr Rogge not to care about such things otherwise I don't understand him not to react to the threat that's hanging above the Olympic Spirit that is more than 3.000 YEARS OLD !!!!! .

YOU ALL NICE LITTLE PLAYERS, COACHES AND PRESIDENTS OF HOCKEYFEDERATIONS GO TALK TODAY TO THE GREEK PLAYERS AND REALISE WHAT YOU ARE TAKING AWAY OF THEM AND IMAGINE FOR THE NEXT GAMES THE SAME WILL HAPPEN TO YOU .... AND THEN AND ONLY THEN GET TOGETHER AGAIN AND STAY COOL AND MOTIVATED ...

Do you understand where we are getting to, is this Sport? Is this Olympic Spirit ? DISGUSTING !!

Another spot ! since when is the FIH dictating the IOC rules ?
Re:an activ reader and player of NATIONAL TEAM
09-30-2003  9:16 am
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I disagree with either of the Greek teams being allowed to 'recruit' players from around the world with Greek decent. Some of these athletes can't cut it in their own coutnry and now are being given the opportunity to TAKE AWAY a potential dream for some athletes in other countries who have tried to make an olympics for a very long time!! The fact that the Greek teams have to qualify for the Olympics was an excellent decision by the FIH and this policy should be carried out in all other sports as well if the Host team does not make a certain standard.
HOCKEYFORALL
10-01-2003  2:26 am
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Reply to the last anonymous entry
The host's participation would'nt take away the potential dream of any other athlete simply because he would have never qualified for the allowed spots as per IOC chart. The team that would take up Greece's place if Greece does not qualify would have never made to the OG anyway. So the host is not taking anyone's place on the contrary another team that should have not been there will have the unique opportunity to play, come probably last, improve its standard to the detriment of the host who have put everything they have to have the OG and improve in some sports that were not popular till then. You can also read my comments higher up the page.
About reqruiting players of Greek descent where do you see any harm in it. They will contribute to the game and in the case of Greece at least they are of Greek descent not like the naturalisation farse of Dutch players who made up the USA team in Atlanta I think? (correct me if I am wrong please).
If the FIH and the rest of the IFs they feel that the norm should be that the host should have teams of certain standard in order to secure automatic participation they should come forward, decide and define the standard, introduce it to the IOC, change the Olympic Chart and make it a term of the contract that the host signs with the IOC when they are given the mandate to host the OG. Such once off interim decision for the Athens OG only may be interpreted as containing alterior motives and could very well be pointing to a couple of "pampered" countries. The day that everyone will draw his/her conclusion is not far.
ACTIV READER AND PLAYER AGAIN !!!
10-01-2003  10:16 am
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ATHENS 2004
I REALLY DON't UNDERSTAND THAT OBVIOUSLY PEOPLE ARE OR FRUSTRATED OR JALOUS !!!

DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND ....

NEXT TIME SOUTH-AFRICA ORGANIZES FOR INSTANCE OLYMPICS...
WHAT DO WE HAVE ... YOEPS AGAIN THE SAME STUPIDITY THAT WE HAVE TO TOLERATE FOR 2004, NOT SPECIFICALLY FOR HOCKEY MAYBE FOR ANOTHER DISCIPLINE, IT CAN BE CHINA-MALAYSIA-POLAND-BELGIUM ANY COUNTRY ...

NO REALLY IF MR ROGGE IS READING THIS THEN PLEASE AGAIN FOR THE SAKE OF SPORT : DON'T CHANGE REGULATIONS THAT HAVE MADE THEIR PROOFS FOR MORE THAN 100 YEARS .
NO MONEY CAN REPLACE MOTIVATION-RESPECT-FAIRPLAY AND JUSTICE

THANKS ON BEHALF OF ALL ATHLETES


AN ATHLETE
another "considerate"
10-03-2003  4:17 pm
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...
I myself am a hockey player and am a friend of one of the girls in the Greek hockey team. I have been in contact with her for years now and i have shared her joys, pressures, excitement, experiences and disappointements of being in the team. I cannot believe what their federation has done to them. It is so unfair adn i cannot believe that they are doing nothing about what has happenend to them. Can you believe that they are actually trying to keep the peace? that they are not grilling their federation like they could be? i would sue the federation if i were in their position, or at least take action. Can you all not see what was done to them, and taken away from them. Come on, don;t look at them differently just because they are not at a high level. Why catogarise them? they are (or were at least) professional athletes and should be treated like one. As far as what i am concerned they haven't been given a fair chance. how do you ever expect anything to ever progress in this world if you just let it go or ignore its desires and wants and let it down just because it is not "the best". Imagine a potential little athelete. He has to run a 1000m race. He runs it and gives of his all. he has been practicing hard and dreams to become a star. but, because he does not run it in the worlds best record he is told that he is useless, he hasn't tried hard enough, he'll never get anywhere. QUESTION.What do you think this little athlete will feel? Motivated? i dont think so. I think he'll never want to run again in his life. He has been demotivated and his dream has been shattered for life, no one believes in him and notices his potential, which he has. But somebody, an onlooker, notices this little boy, his passion for the sport, his desire to run and become better. But this man is clever, he knows thisboy is not yet strong enough to withhold such demotivation, he also knnows that this young athlete needs a lot of time and effort, a lot of patience. So he walks up to this boy and says, come, i believe in you, i know that with hard work you will do it. Six years later this boy wins a Gold medal in the olympics. Why? Someone was not selfish and stubborn and wanting to see results in a short period of time. Someone didn't care if his athlete would come last for the next couple of weeks/months/years. Someone gave this athlete a chance. Someone didn't want to see a young heart fail and give up, and look where that boy landed up. GOLD. IN THE OLYMPICS.
I ask all of youreading this. Do you honestly ever believe that Greece will progress in it's hockey? now, after this has happend? Maybe the girls will go their seperate ways and become something somewhere else. Great if they do. but the point is, will 'greece' ever have a team that could be good. that coould in 4, 8, 12 or even 16 years from now be top ten? i would barely say maybe, because no one believes in them. No one will give them a chance and obviously if they have no support from their own federation they will never in a million years get anywhere. So whos fault is it? the players? never! I'll leave you to figure that out for yourselves. But to the Greek federation: "don't expect your athletes to ever get anywhere, and dont you dare blame it on them when they dont. Did you give them a chance? (answer honestly now) And when they were, perhaps, being given a chance, did you treat them professionaly?"
stop this conspiracy (or whatever you want to call it) of "of course they should have to go through a quilifer because they are useles, etc etc" why? and i ask again why? think about what you are saying. if that is the case then i say that this host country automatic entry thing should be dropped altogether. I'm sure every host country in the history of olympics has had at least ONE sport that their country has been useless in. Its strange then that this is the first time in olympic games history that a team has to qulify to participate in its own country.
What's the point!!!
10-07-2003  8:36 am
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scores...
What's the point of having Greece in teh olympics?? Men or WOmen?? Didn't you see what happened to the Dominican Republic at the Pan American Games?? They had close to 100 goals against. That's ridiculous and an embarassment to the sport!! There should be minimum standards for all sports when it comes to the olympic games regardless of what country you're from, Canada, Belgium, Greece, USA, Australia, etc....
Sportsman
10-07-2003  1:10 pm
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Where's the spirit???
It's not all about winnning, and what the score board looks like. You obviously don't know anything about sport and definitley don't play in any team. Otherwise you would understand
HOCKEYFORALL
10-08-2003  12:42 am
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Reply to what's the point
The point is that you talking about minimum standards but the FIH has double standards. Did you read the joint statement by FIH and PAHF. Well they said the score against Dominican Rep. was no problem as the country stands to gain from its participation and emerge in the sport. The OG still get the best teams to compete and the only spot that makes the difference is that of the host country. Now if you feel that the host will embarass you then do not watch their games. In addition if you do not want to compromise your ultra competitive standards then book yourself to the World Cup. It may also be relevant that from now on countries that do not have competitive teams or athletes in all the 28 Olympic sports not to bid for the OG because if they do they will have beautiful installations to collect dust after the OG have finished.
JA
10-10-2003  12:58 pm
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Player for the Women's Greek National Team
I would like to thank some of you for your concern for our team. I would like to be the first player to provided some information for those of you who are clearly making judgements without knowing the real facts.
First of all I would like to comment on why I chose to pursue this opportunity. I don't see myself as "not cutting it" in my own country. I am proud to be an American, but I am also very proud of my Greek heritage and as a Greek American I feel that playing for the Greek team was the biggest honor for myself and my family. Also as far as my ability to "make it" in the USA, I see myself as an athlete, a hockey player who fell in love with the sport from age nine. It would be silly not to accept an opportunity as the one that I was presented with. What kind of athlete would I be if I did not try to challenge myself in every way that I can in my sport. The Greek team has offered me opportunities that I would have never gotten otherwise, yes, I am humble enough to admit that, but don't put the abroad players down b/c we went to pursue our dreams, and most importantyl represent Greece. Wouldn't you have done the same if presented with a similar opportunity?!

As far as the qualification standard, I do wish that things were different and that we would not have to qualify, but I can also say the standard has put pressure on the Greek Federation to do things right and to strive for the best for their teams. However, things have still moved at a slow pace and were not as organized as they needed to be.

As an 18 year old getting involved with a National Team (I am now 20), I was introduced to a world of politics. I was very upset with how things turned out for us. We struggled with so many issues: Coaches, training scheduels, housing, money, team unity, and team priorities. The team was not headed in the right direction. To place blame on only Federation alone, or the team alone would be unfair.

Some, but not all, things that did not help our situation and did not allow us to focus on the field were:
-Coaching- there was one coach to coach the men's team, the women's team, and the U16 boys, granted Cedric has been doing his best and I do not blame him, but could really use some help (Pancho was also very instrumental in moving things along for our team and his efforts cannot be forgotten)
-Physio therapy was inconsistent and not available all the time
-Being told that we would relocate to a residence of some sort, but instead getting there and having the federation tell us that they are "still looking" (they weren't), we were thrown into hotel rooms, sometimes three girls in one room, it's hard to adjust to life in another country. let alone as a professional athlete when your living conditions are inconsistent
-Team unity- pride issues with the women from abroad and the women born in Greece. Any athlete/coach can sense this sort of division and if not settled it can tear a team apart on and off the field
-Team priorities- not all the women were in it for the right reasons, or at least they were at first, but with the federation letting us down constantly it was harder for the less diciplined/experienced athletes to stay motivated and dedicated
-Team experience- there was such wide range in abilities from the players, and new coaches being switched constantly did not help the girls that were learning the sport for the first time
This is just the basics (I could write pages on all the changes, and situations we were dealing with) of some of the things we were struggling with. The politics run much deeper, and money is powerful thing in this world.

I wish the men's team the best of luck, and I still hold hope for the women's team. I am thankful for the experiences I have had with the Greek National Team, and I hope that the federation will organize things to give us a better chance at the qualifier, but for now, I am just a hockey player, playing the sport I love, and learning and improving as an athlete and person every day with my collegiate team.

Just a note to those of you who will respond to my comments, keep in mind that I am the first Greek Player to provide you all with a truthful account. I am willing to answer any questions, but keep in mind that I was just a player, and not a politician.
z
10-13-2003  10:45 am
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IOC
It's time for the IOC to step up and say that Greece should not have to qualify for hockey in the Olympics.

The Olympic Games is for the five continental champions, the host country, and then the best of the rest.
yen
10-20-2003  10:11 pm
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indian womens
we should be playing in qualification , come on give india a break , we are better then half the teams in qualifications
Disgruntled supporter
10-21-2003  4:16 pm
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World Ranking laughable
The FHI is a disgrace, and the world rankings are a joke. The Indian women?s team should at least have a chance to qualify; they are the common wealth champions.

Surely the common wealth games must carry some merit. The Indians were place a head of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Does this not mean anything.
Alibaba
10-21-2003  9:52 pm
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What is the FHI site where the rankings are listed?

Thanks
RANI
10-22-2003  5:54 am
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CATCH 22
Indian womens hockey team did not qualify for WORLD CUP , so they do not qualify to play OLYMPICS qualifiers, When world cup comes around , again they cannot play qualifiers as they did not play OLYMPICS QUALIFIERS. What ajoke . FIH is killing ASAIN HOCKEY.
COME ON FIH GROW UP.
DO U KNOW ITALY PLAYED CT 2003 , ofcouse they were host , but why not allot hockey match in INDIA
WAKE UP FIH
TOTC
10-22-2003  8:25 am
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"Considerate"
I would not be surprised if Greece does not take its women's program seriously as its men's program.

Title IX is not international law.

That being said, how many Americans are now in the Hellenic player pool?
Carike van Staden <South Africa>
10-25-2003  3:47 pm
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The South African Olimpic Commitee of 1999-2000 (Sam Ramsamy) disrupted SA hockey when the withdrew the mens side due to reasons which are still dodge today. Some of SA greatest players retired, such as the goalie Brian Myburg, due to this decion. A few players came back but it brought hockey down & HARD. The women's team entered at 8th and came back 10th.

SA hockey sufferd and there was alot of disputes. I think that it still have an affect & losing in the final vs Egypt complicated it more. I just want to wish Greece good luck & hope that it turns out well for you guys there. I still feel sorry for the as boys because winning might have been out of reach but just competing would have been a honour.

GOOD LUCK TO GREEK HOCKEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anna
10-28-2003  12:16 pm
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exact date in Madrid
Could you please tell me the exact date for the Men's Olympic Qualifier game take place in Madrid,Spain on March 2004. Love to watch them. Never miss any hockey games throughout Asia but now in UK. The chance is there!! Is that possible for me to go there and watch??Thanx!!
HOCKEYFORALL
11-03-2003  6:53 am
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Cuba has withdrawn from Qualifier
Cuba announced that it will not send its team for the qualifier in Madrid therefore Canada being the first reserve comes in. Lucky Canadians can smile again, not that they have much of a chance to qualify for Athens but it will give them a good exposure. I hope that they will not be harsh with the Greek team in the play-offs.
Yan Huckendubler
11-03-2003  8:00 am
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Madrid Qualifier
The Men's Olympic Qualifier in Madrid is scheduled for March 2 to 13.

Prior to that, the 12th qualified team (currently Cuba) needs to play Greece in a best of 3 series. If Greece wins, they'll play in the Olympics and only 6 teams will qualify from Madrid; if Greece looses, they go home and 7 teams will qualify from Madrid.
VIJAY
11-04-2003  8:34 am
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INDIAN HOCKEY
IT IS REALLY VERY PAINFUL TO READ THE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF BEING QUALIFYING INTO THE OLYMPICS AND WORLD CUP. INDIAN WOMEN'S HOCKEY TEAM IS ALWAYS IN DISADVANTAGEOUS POSITION. PLZ CHANGE THE RULES. IHF WAKE UP.
interesting
11-07-2003  2:59 am
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cuba to forfeit?
Cuba is ranked 12, and for Greece to qualify they have to play the 12th ranked team, correct?

If Cuba fails to show for the games and forfeits, surely the Greeks then qualify. Wether Cuba is going to the qualification tournament or not, they are still ranked 12.

Come on FIH, find another reason to try and keep Greece out.
z
11-10-2003  11:18 am
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Re: interesting - cuba to forfeit? (sic)
What exactly did Cuba withdraw from?

If Cuba withdraw from the play-off with Greece does this mean that Greece qualify? If not, why not?

Was it the extra week in Madrid that made it too expensive for Cuba?

If so, could the play-off have taken place in Cuba? Again, if not, why not?

Why should Cuba have to carry the can for the FIH who wanted to find a way to officially let Greece try to "qualify"? Why should Cuba have to travel to Madrid or wherever for a meaningless (to them) play-off? Cuba earned their place in the qualifying tournament, now they cannot go. What conditions were imposed on them by the FIH?

If the FIH/IOC go ahead with the farce that is the Greece qualifier play-off then Canada (or whoever it is) should find a way to "lose" the play-off and give Greece the Olympic place that they are entitled to as hosts. The same goes for Russia in the other "play-off".

It's time for the FIH to do what is right - give Greece their place as hosts.
YEN
02-11-2004  12:13 am
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SOMETHING MORE TO PONDER ,
IF GREEK BEAT RUSSIA , THEY PLAY OPLY N RUSSIA STILL PLAYS QUALIFIER TO PLAY OLY.
RUSSIA HAVE NO MOTIVATION TO WIN WITH GREEKS. ON A GOOD WILL THEY MAY LET GREEKS WIN.
THIS SYSTEM IS DESIGNED TO LET GREEKS PLAY OLY.
RUSSIA IS RANKED 17TH , 4 PLACES BELOW INDIA . AND GRREKS 47TH.
INDIA DOES NOT GET A CHANCE IN QUALIFIERS , WHAT A JOKE.
teji
03-10-2004  5:16 am
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hockey in india
hello guys india hockey is the king in the world. u know indian player have good skills and good record in the feild hockey.but one thing india dont have temprament. if they control temprament
shannon
06-29-2004  1:15 am
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complaint
I reckon that you should put the names of the athletes because I am ten years old and for homework we have to find the nanmes of 4 N.Z athletes and what sport they play. so could you please put thier names on the site.
Yours sincerly
Shannon Webb
kate
09-05-2004  7:37 pm
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site
this is very boring i would like profiles of athleetes on here
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