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Spain Women and New Zealand Men invited to Rio 2016 Olympic Games

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After the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee’s (SASCOC) decided to reject invitations for South Africa’s men’s and women’s hockey teams participate in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, FIH confirmed the invitation of Spain’s Women Hockey team and New Zealand’s Men Hockey team to the prestigious mega event last night.

This follows the official FIH Qualification System for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad – Rio 2016, section F, which states that if an NOC declines the allocated quota place, the place will be reallocated to the next highest placed team from the Hockey World League Semi-Finals (which is not already qualified).

As per the FIH Qualification System, South Africa men and women teams were invited to participate in the Rio 2016 Olympics, as a result of their title win at the African Hockey Championships back in November. However, SASCOC decided to reject their invitations. To date, 11 men’s and 11 women’s teams have officially qualified through the FIH qualification system.

Teams (men) already qualified for the mega event Hockey leg include Oceania champions Australia, Asian Games champions India, Argentina as Pan Am Games champions, Netherlands as European champions and Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Canada, Spain and Ireland through the Hockey World League Semi-Finals, while Brazil also confirmed their place at Rio 2016 after satisfying the host nation participation criteria.

Teams (women) qualified for the mega event are: Australia as Oceania champions, Korea as Asian Games champions, USA as Pan Am Games champions, Great Britain as European champions (qualification through England’s victory at the EuroHockey Championships 2015) and China, Germany, Argentina, Netherlands, New Zealand, India and Japan through the Hockey World League Semi-Finals.

The IOC Executive Board, after an appeal by the FIH on behalf of the South African Hockey Association to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), reiterated that under the terms of the Olympic Charter, all parties must respect the integrity and authority of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) for representation of their respective countries and selection of their athletes and teams at the Olympic Games. Once accepted the invitations, the mega events will have the 12 team line-ups completed for the hockey events.