Australia will once again be one of the leading contenders along with Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and the hosts India.

Odisha will host the 15th edition of the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup from January 13 onwards. Other than Kalinga Stadium, the newly built Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium, Rourkela will host the event. The opening game on January 13 is between Argentina and South Africa. Hosts India will start their campaign at 5 PM IST on an opening day against Spain.

Qualified Teams

Just like in 2018, a total of 16 teams from 5 confederations will take part in the tournament. India automatically qualified as the hosts, whereas the other 15 reached here after clearing the qualification process – except for Australia and New Zealand who automatically qualified due to the cancellation of the 2022 Oceania Cup. They qualified by virtue of being the top two nations in the federation rankings.

Belgium, England, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, France and Wales make up the European contingent. Japan, Malaysia and South Korea became the other three Asian teams. Chile and Argentina qualified through the 2022 Pan American Cup while South Africa once again enters the competition as the solitary African nation. The continental campaigns decided all the spots.


  • Pot 1: India, Australia, Belgium, Netherlands
  • Pot 2: Germany, England, Argentina, New Zealand
  • Pot 3: Spain, Malaysia, France, South Korea
  • Pot 4: South Africa, Wales, Japan, Chile


  • Pool A: Australia, Argentina, France, South Africa
  • Pool B: Belgium, Germany, South Korea, Japan
  • Pool C: Netherlands, New Zealand, Malaysia, Chile
  • Pool D: India, England, Spain, Wales

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As mentioned, 16 teams are divided into pools of four. The single round-robin format will decide the standings. Also, Toppers from each pool will directly go through to the Quarterfinal. While the remaining four teams will be decided through Crossovers. The rest will go on, as usual, i.e., quarterfinals, then semifinals, and finally the final. There will be classifications going on further down which will decide the exact position a team finishes the tournament.

Rules for pool classifications go as follows: Points>Matches won>Goal difference>Goals scored>Head-to-head>Field goals scored.

What are Crossovers?

Before moving to the knockouts, one should understand a complicated term called “Crossovers”. Crossovers can be seen as the pre-quarterfinals, except half the teams for the next round are already decided. This is something one can only see in Hockey. The second and third teams from each pool will form the four crossover fixtures. January 22 will see C2 vs D3 (Crossover 1) and C3 vs D2 (Crossover 2) while the next day will see A2 vs B3 (Crossover 3) and B2 vs A3 (Crossover 4). Crossover fixtures are abbreviated as C1, C2 etc.

The first quarterfinal will be played between A1 vs Winner C1. The second will be played between B1 vs winner C2 and so on. The winner of the first and fourth and second and third quarterfinals will face each other in the semifinal on January 27 at Kalinga Stadium.

The final and third-place encounters will take place on January 29 at the same venue.

Deciding rest positions

Fourth-placed teams of each pool and losers of each crossover will form M33-M36. The matchups will be like A4 vs Loser C1, B4 vs Loser C2 and so on. Losers of each of these games will face a one-off (L-M33 vs L-M34, L-M35 vs L-M36) to form the 13th-16th place classification. While the winners will face one-off to form the 9th-12th place classification. The order for that will be decided by the scoreline and margin of the result.

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