NEW DELHI, Feb 28: In a favourable draw, hosts India were today clubbed in Pool C along side Olympics silver medallists Belgium, World No. 11 Canada and African continental champions South Africa in the men’s Hockey World Cup to be held in Bhubaneswar from November 28-December 16.
According to the schedule announced by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) today, Asian champions India will open their campaign against South Africa on November 28 before taking on European giants Belgium on December 2 and Canada on December 8.
Pool A, meanwhile, consists of Rio 2016 Olympic champions Argentina, New Zealand, Spain and France.
There are a few marquee fixtures in the pool phase, including the mouth-watering Pool D meeting between two former world champions Germany and Pakistan on December 1.
England will be aiming to upset the mighty Australians on December 4.
The Pool stages will run from November 28 to December 9 and will be followed by the quarterfinals on December 12-13.
A first place finish in each pool will guarantee a berth in the quarterfinals, with the second and third place finishers in each pool needing to win a cross-over match, which will be played on December 10-11, in order to reach the last eight.
The quarterfinals will take place on December 12 -13. The semifinals will be played on December 15, with the bronze medal and the showpiece final scheduled for December 16.
Pool A: Argentina, New Zealand, Spain, France
Pool B: Australia, England, Ireland, China
Pool C: Belgium, India, Canada, South Africa
Pool D: Netherlands, Germany, Malaysia, Pakistan. – PTI
Van Gaal lashes out at Mourinho
London, Feb 28: Former Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has criticised his successor Jose Mourinho for meting out poor treatment to Germany international Bastian Schweinsteiger during their time together at the club.
“Schweinsteiger was older, of course, but not too old,” Van Gaal told Sport Bild on Tuesday.
“Still, his body was not able to keep up with the high demands of Premier League.
“Bayern sold him to us as a fit player, but, in reality, physically he had reached the end.
“How Mourinho treated him after me, Schweini did not deserve this. But it also explains how things were with Schweinsteiger. It’s a shame because he is a player like Luis Enrique, Mark van Bommel or Philipp Lahm, a character always present on the pitch,” the Dutch coach added.
Schweinsteiger, a World Cup winner with Germany in 2014, was roped in from Bayern Munich by Van Gaal in 2015. After Van Gaal left United, Schweinsteiger was frozen out and made to train with the reserves by Mourinho who took over the reins.
He returned to the first-team squad to make three substitute appearances before leaving for Chicago Fire.
Van Gaal, who helped United win the FA Cup in his final match in charge, said things could have been different had he managed to sign two other players from the Bundesliga – Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller. – IANS