The FIH Hockey Pro League - the annual global home and away league involving the world's best international teams, both Men and Women - will resume on 22 September with the national teams of Germany hosting their Belgian counterparts in a thrilling clash between two European powerhouses!
FIH today confirmed the new schedule for the men's and women's competitions of the 2020 FIH Hockey Pro League which, as announced on 24 April, have been extended until June 2021 (instead of June 2020 as initially planned) after they were stopped in March of this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.
The calendar has been established in cooperation and agreement between the 11 participating National Associations (NAs) taking part in the second edition of the FIH Hockey Pro League and the FIH. In such a challenging period and with a very busy hockey calendar in 2021 due to the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games, Continental Championships and domestic league competitions, finalising the schedule was made possible thanks to all parties showing solidarity and a willingness to compromise to complete the 2020 FIH Hockey Pro League season.
Around one third of the planned matches were completed between January and early March, with Belgium and Argentina currently leading the Men's and Women's standings respectively.
Commenting on the announcement, FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra said: "All hockey fans have been eagerly waiting for the day where the world's best teams would play again. Whilst the pandemic is not over and staying healthy while playing hockey is an absolute priority, it's a sign of hope that the resumption of the 2020 FIH Hockey Pro League is looming. I wish all teams well and invite all fans to enjoy 'Hockey at its Best' in the months ahead!"
"I am really excited because we just heard that we will be playing the Pro League in September. So, Germany against Belgium will be the first game of the Pro League after a lot of months of training without competition. We are really excited that we can get back to playing games!" stated World Champion Thomas Briels, captain of Belgium's Red Lions.
"We are playing hockey again! In September, the first Pro League games will start again and we are going to play in my home town, Düsseldorf, against Belgium. So, stay healthy and keep it up!" said Selin Oruz, Olympic bronze medallist with Germany's Danas.
FIH will continue to closely monitor the global evolution of the COVID-19 situation, with the safety of athletes, fans and everyone involved being top priority.