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Ram Narayan @Rnb129
, 13 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Yes the Men's semi v Malaysia was a let down, but beyond opportunity for a gold, jingoism and flag waving, India lost something far more valuable and of practical utility: #AsianGames winners get ticket to the Olympics. #hockey
The route available now is long-drawn and littered with banana skins. Here's the fruit salad of competitions India must digest to make it to Tokyo 2020. It's the same for the Men's and the Women's teams, differing of course, only in the rankings #hockey
Out of 12 slots available:
1. Hosts - Japan
2. Asia - Asian Games winners 2018
3. Africa - winner of separate Qualifier, #hockey is dropped from African Games
4. Europe - Eurohockey Nations winners 2019
5. N/S America - Pan American Games winners
6. Oceania Games winners qualify
For the remaining 6 slots, that's what the convoluted procedure is for, keeping in mind new IOC requirements of "universality" - even the lowest ranked team in the world should have a legitimate attempt at qualifying - a worthy attempt to globalize the sport #hockey
For these 6 slots, 12 teams will play a two-leg knock out. Here's how the 12 teams are determined:

4 teams from the #Hockey Pro League
2 teams from each of three Hockey Series Finals
2 highest ranked teams that haven't yet qualified or made the knockout
(Dizzy already?)
The #Hockey Pro League is a new, snazzy 9 team home-away round robin format of bilateral series. The top 9 teams were invited, with 4 of them moving to the Olympic Qualifier knockouts
India ranked 5 pulled out of this event, a rare piece of common sense from @TheHockeyIndia
These 9 are the cream of the #hockey world and a top 4 finish here means they'd have to be World Cup semi-final level. Too big a risk to pin Olympic Qualification hopes on, especially when you don't know how many matches each bilateral battle will have. A lot of work with doubt!
The next nine, (of which India is a part) join 15 other teams, (themselves getting here as winners or runners up from a soup of Hockey Series Open events, the Fijis, Mexicos and Vanuatus of the #hockey world) bringing it to 24 teams, drawn into 3 tournaments of 8 teams each
India, drawn in one of these 8 team Hockey Series Finals will have to finish at least second. A perfectly normal expectation, considering these are teams ranked 15 or thereabouts, and worse!
These 6 teams (2 from each Hockey Series Final) will join 4 from the Pro Hockey League and 2 more on rankings, for the Olympic Qualifier knockouts. Who they're drawn to play is another maze, (if you're not dizzy already)
Within these twelve, teams ranked 1,2 and 3 play randomly drawn team out of 12,11 or 10
4, 5, 6 play a random team out of 7,8,9
In a two leg play-off to try and win on aggregate.
These six teams make it to Tokyo 2020.
If a team already Qualified is eligible through some other route, that quota is NOT given to next team. E.g., Japan women qualify as hosts, and also Asian Games winners 2018. So there will be no qualifier from #AsianGames and next best India will still play Hockey Series Finals
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