Faithful to its desire to create major events around EuroHockey, the European Federation asked France for a joint organization of the “2023 European Cup” qualifying tournaments for the 2 senior women’s and men’s groups at the end of August 2022.
Sure of the implementation of the repair work on its grounds at the Stade du Souvenir which will begin in February 2022, the CHS Calais immediately responded favorably for the organization of the men’s tournament .
And approached, at the request of the French federation, its neighbor from Dunkirk (30 minutes by car between the 2 clubs) to ensure the support of the women’s competition .
This suggestion quickly became obvious , specifies André Hecquet, the president of Calais , we are not competitors! We work for the development of hockey, each in our territory.
Remember that the Calais club recently organized 2 successful European competitions: a U18 boys European championship in 2015 and France / Germany U19 girls matches last summer.
“Beyond the ‘hopping’ aspect of the terrain (difficulty solved with the realization of a brand new synthetic, type ‘Colombes 2024’ in spring 2022), the quality of our organization and the involvement of our volunteers had been particularly appreciated by the European federation ”, points out André Hecquet.
One more reason to get involved in agreement with the City of Calais, very involved in sport and determined to promote a dynamic and active image for our city.
It was important for the French Hockey Federation and the federal team to implement this project of success with all the clubs by involving clubs which do not necessarily have one or more teams in the elite French hockey championships.
Great matches in perspective
There will therefore be 12 teams of the highest European level who will survey the grounds of the Stade de la Licorne in Dunkirk-Malo and the Stade du Souvenir in Calais between August 21 and 27, 2022 .
In Dunkirk, the women’s competition will be found with France, 25 th world, against Scotland (17th worldwide), Austria (31th worldwide), Switzerland (World 35th), Hungary (52nd worldwide) and Slovenia (69th worldwide). In Calais, place for the male collectives of France, 13 th in the world and seeded in the tournament, against Ireland (14th world), Ukraine (28th world), Turkey (44th world), Lithuania (62nd world) and Slovenia (71st world).
6 teams for a place in each competition … the fight will be tough with many challenges and suspense to come to the delight of the supporters and spectators that the 2 clubs hope to be numerous a few days before the start of the 2022 school year.
The principle of the competition is simple: round robin , all the teams meet and the team ranked first in its group advances to the final tournament for the attribution of the European title which will take place in 2023 in Mönchengladbach (Germany).
On the Ladies side, the teams from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Spain have already qualified. For the Men, it was the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and finally England who obtained their ticket at the end of the European Championships in June 2021.