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Two Indian umpires for Hockey World Cup

November 26, 2009 15:40 IST

Satinder Kumar and Raghu Prasad are the two Indian umpires who would officiate in the 12-nation Hero Honda FIH Hockey World Cup to be held at New Delhi's National Stadium in February-March 2010.

Kumar and Prasad are among 16 umpires nominated by the world governing body for hockey in the February 28-March 13 tournament to be jointly organised by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Hockey India, a tournament news letter said.

The champions of the five confederations - Australia, Korea, Canada, South Africa, England - as well as three other squads from Europe - two-time defending champions and world's nuber one team Germany, Netherlands and Spain - and Argentina qualified automatically along with host nation India.

Australia, current Champions Trophy holders, are ranked second and finished runners up to Germany, bidding for a Cup hat-trick, in the last two World Cups.

Spain, runners-up to Germany in the Beijing Olympics, have carried on with their 100 per cent record in qualifying for the championships. Following the same pattern are European giants Netherlands, who have lifted the trophy three times. 

Korea, the highest ranked Asian country (5th), have made it to the last four in the previous two editions, and reigning European champions England make up the top six in the world rankings. 

Record four-time World Champions Pakistan have qualified defeating Japan in the World Cup qualifiers in Lille, France along with New Zealand, who beat Malaysia in the final at the second qualifiers played at home. 

Eight-time Olympic champions India, who have won the World Cup only once in 1975 at Kuala Lumpur on natural grass, would be trying to repeat the feat in the tournament which is being hosted for only the second time in the country, the first being at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium in 1981. 

Pan American Champions Canada will be competing for the fourth time and African continent victors South Africa will be in their third consecutive World Cup. 

Argentina booked the twelfth and final spot for the prestigious tournament with a hard-fought victory over Belgium in Quilmes in the third World Cup qualifier.

The umpires list: David Gentles (Australia), Amarjit Singh (Malaysia), Tim Pullman (Australia), Roal Van Eert (Netherlands), Hamish Jamson (England), Simon Taylor (New Zealand), Christian Blasch (Germany), Ged Curran (Scotland), Satinder Kumar (India), Andy Mair (Scotland), Raghu Prasad (India), Gary Simmonds (South Africa), Colin Hutchinson (Ireland), John Wright (South Africa), Hong Lae Kim (Korea) and Marcello Servetto (Spain).

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