(Photo: FIH)

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is pleased to announce the official Pools for the 3rd FIH Indoor World Cup for men and women.  The double event – which takes place once every four years – will be played in the Polish city of Poznan from the 8th to the 13th February 2011.

For the first time in the short history of the FIH Indoor World Cup, all five continents will be represented at the third Edition of the tournament. The national indoor teams of Iran (men) and Kazakhstan (women) are history makers by representing Asia in an Indoor World Cup for the first time, with the respective men's and women's teams from Uruguay and Argentina being the first ever participants from South America, showing the increasing popularity of the indoor game outside of its European heartland. There are also Indoor World Cup debuts for Namibia (men & women) and England (men).
In Pool A of the men’s competition, host nation Poland will face Namibia, Australia, Canada, The Netherlands and Germany, the double World Champions. The mighty Germans will be aiming to claim their third successive FIH Indoor World Cup title, following Gold medal performances in Leipzig 2003 and Vienna 2007, where they defeated Poland in the tournament final. The Poles will be determined to rectify that on home soil in February, but will also face stern tests from their fellow Pool A contenders in the fight to reach the tournament Semi Finals.

2010 EuroHockey Indoor Nations champions Austria will be one of the favourites to emerge from Pool B, which also features Russia, Czech Republic, England, USA and Iran. Russia were runners up to Austria in the 2010 EuroHockey Nations event, suggesting that they will also be a team to watch in this Pool.

Pool A of the women’s competition sees reigning World Champions The Netherlands taking on EuroHockey Indoor Nations Champions Ukraine, as well as Czech Republic, Austria, Argentina and Kazakhstan. The Netherlands and Ukraine will be considered as marginal favourites to progress to the Semi Finals from Pool A, but will face strong resistance from skilful and unpredictable opponents.

Germany and Belarus, who finished 3rd and 5th respectively at the 2010 EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championships, are arguably the two strongest teams in Pool B. However, host nation Poland will be keen to make home advantage count and secure a place in the Semi Finals. Australia, Namibia and Uruguay complete the Pool B line-up.

The FIH Indoor World Cup will take place at the Poznan International Fair Exhibition Hall in February 2011, a year which marks the 85th anniversary of the foundation of the Polish Hockey Association.  A complete match schedule for the tournament will be released in the coming weeks.

Pools for 3rd FIH Indoor World Cup – Men
Poznan (POL), 8-13 February 2011

Pool A                                    Pool B
Germany                                Austria
Poland                                    Russia
Netherlands                           Czech Republic
Canada                                  England
Australia                                 USA
Namibia                                  Iran

Pool A
                                   Pool B
Netherlands                          Germany
Ukraine                                  Belarus
Czech Republic                    Australia
Austria                                   Poland
Argentina                              Namibia
Kazakhstan                           Uruguay