Cape Town — Retail giant SPAR was Tuesday named as the headline sponsor for the FIH (International Hockey Federation) Hockey Indoor World Cup that will take place in Pretoria in February next year.
This will be the sixth edition of the tournament that attracts the cream of the world’s men and women indoor players. The tournament takes place at the Heartfelt Arena from February 5-11, and for the first time, it will take place outside Europe.
SPAR has enjoyed a close relationship with South African hockey for almost a decade, and has supported the men's and women's teams in the past.
SA Hockey President Deon Morgan was delighted to welcome SPAR as the presenting partner for the tournament that will attract the best players in the world.
"South African Hockey has realized that we can only achieve by having the right partners in place. We are proud to have SPAR once again partner with South African Hockey to bring the first ever FIH Hockey Indoor World Cup to African shores."
SPAR SA chief executive officer Max Oliva was equally delighted to be involved in this fast-paced version of the game.
“SPAR is honoured and excited to be the presenting partner of next year’s FIH Indoor World Cup,” Oliva said.
“For several years SPAR has proudly supported women’s and men’s indoor hockey in South Africa and to be part of the World Cup hosted in South Africa is exciting, especially with the South African teams in the line-up.
“Indoor hockey is skilfully fast and a great spectator sport, so we look forward to welcoming the hockey and sporting fans to Pretoria.”
The men’s and women’s competitions will each be contested by 12 teams, divided into two pools.
The teams will play one pool match each day from February 5-9. Thereafter the top four sides in each pool advance to the quarter-finals, while the fifth and sixth-placed teams will face off for positions nine to 12.
Pool A: Netherlands, Austria, Australia, United States, South Africa, New Zealand
Pool B: Ukraine, Czech Republic, Namibia, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Canada
Pool A: Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Namibia, New Zealand
Pool B: Iran, Czech Republic, Australia, South Africa, United States, Argentina