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Ireland women draw Netherlands in Euros
Katie Mullan
Ireland women secured qualification for the Tokyo Olympics last year

Ireland have been drawn with world number one Netherlands, Spain and Scotland in the pool stages of the 2021 Women’s EuroHockey Championships.

The tournament is now taking place from 4-13 June 2021 at the Wagener Stadium in Amsterdam.

It was due to have been played in August 2021 but the postponement of the Olympics Games in Tokyo to July next year has forced the change.

England will face Germany, Belgium and Italy in the other women’s group.

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Now taking place before the Olympics, EuroHockey will provide a warm-up for five of the countries involved who will also be competing in Tokyo.

The winners will also clinch a place in the 2022 World Cup as continental champions.

Ireland’s men were relegated from the top tier of EuroHockey after finishing last in 2019. They will take part in Division 2 in Gniezno, Poland, from 15-21 August 2021.

Ireland’s women finished fifth in 2019 in Antwerp, equalling their best ever finish in the European Championships as they narrowly missed out on the semi-finals.

The last time they faced Spain in international competition was the 2018 World Cup semi-final in London when they famously beat the Spanish in a shoot-out after a 1-1 draw to make the World Cup final, where they lost 6-0 to the Dutch.

“We are fully aware that it is anything but certain that we can organise the EuroHockey Championships in June 2021 under ‘normal’ circumstances,” said Erik Gerritsen, CEO of the Dutch Hockey Board.

“Nobody knows what the situation with regards to the coronavirus will be then. All we know is that it is not yet possible to organise large public events in the Netherlands.

“That is why we are not yet starting ticket sales, but we will be looking at the situation in the coming months and the prospects for public events. “

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