India climb to third, France break into top ten in the latest FIH World Rankings

International Hockey action over the past few months has been limited to continental competitions as the Asian Champions Trophy and EuroHockey Championships 2023 saw the best of Asia and Europe compete for continental supremacy. With India and Netherlands coming away with the trophies, we take a look at the impact the tournaments had on the world rankings.

In the FIH Men’s World Rankings, Netherlands (3113) continue to lead the way with a strong defence of their title at the EuroHockey Championships, to add to their FIH Hockey Pro League title and the bronze medal at the FIH Hockey World Cup in 2023. Netherlands’ dominance has seen them pull a comfortable lead over Belgium (2989) in second place.

India (2771) are back into the top-3, more than year after dropping out in May 2022, thanks to their undefeated run on the way to the title at the Asian Champions Trophy 2023, where they won six and drew one of their seven matches. Dropping out of the third place are England (2745) who fell just short of winning the EuroHockey title with a 2-1 loss to the Netherlands in the final. Despite their strong run to the finals, an earlier loss in the tournament against Belgium and the loss in the final, coupled with India’s run of wins, sees England slip to fourth.

Germany (2689) and Australia (2544) hold on to the fifth and sixth positions, while Argentina (2350) climb up one spot into seventh ahead of Spain (2347). Spain’s sixth place finish in the EuroHockey Championships, losing matches against England, Belgium and France, sees them drop below Argentina, losing over a hundred world ranking points through the course of the tournament.

France (2052) are back inside the top-10 for the first time since May 2022, climbing up to the ninth spot. A strong run in the EuroHockey Championships saw them finish fifth in the tournament with important wins over Spain, Wales and Austria. Despite France’s surge, Malaysia (2041) hold on to the tenth spot in the world rankings thanks to their run to the finals of the Asian Champions Trophy, as they climbed above Korea (1932) who finished the event in the fourth position, having come in as the defending champions. Between Malaysia in tenth and Korea in twelfth sit New Zealand (1938), just outside the top-10, in eleventh.

In the FIH Women’s World Rankings, Netherlands (3422) at the top spot, remain well clear of the chasing pack, continuing their dominance with a record-extending twelfth EuroHockey Championship title. Australia (2818) and Argentina (2767) stay in the second and third spots respectively.

After the end of the FIH Hockey Pro League season, Germany and Belgium were separated by one world ranking point, with the Danas staying just ahead of the Red Panthers. However, Belgium (2609) put on a great campaign at the EuroHockey Championships, winning the silver medal that propels them ahead of Germany (2574) as the two teams occupy the fourth and fifth spots in the world rankings.

India (2325) have climbed one spot to the seventh place, at the expense of Spain (2173), who finished sixth in the EuroHockey Championships dropping over 150 world ranking points in losses against Belgium and Scotland. New Zealand (2001) and Japan (1900) continue to hold their ninth and tenth spots in the world rankings, with China (1894) marginally behind Japan in the eleventh spot. 

BY DR MUHAMMAD HUSSAIN