19th June 2015: Statement from the FIH: The Azerbaijan women’s team due to compete in the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Finals event in Antwerp, have withdrawn from the competition following their non-arrival in Belgium.
They will be replaced in the competition by France, who will directly replace Azerbaijan in the match schedule and the event will continue as per the existing pools and match times.
Taking into consideration the importance of this Olympic qualification event, the fan experience and the fact that the matches are being broadcast worldwide, Tournament Director David Collier deemed it necessary to take action in accordance with Tournament Regulation 19, which is designed to protect the integrity of the event.
The unfortunate withdrawal has opened the door to France, who at 24th in the FIH World Rankings were the highest ranked of the teams not qualified for the World League Semi-Final who were available to take up the position.
France will now have the opportunity to compete for one of the three guaranteed tickets to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games available at the event.
More information about the men’s and women’s FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Antwerp can be found on www.fih.ch.