NEW DELHI: South Korea and Pakistan were on Friday handed wildcard entries for field hockey's Champions Trophy in India next year that will feature eight teams instead of six.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) said the two Asian nations will join world champions Australia, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and hosts India in the annual tournament.
South Korea are ranked sixth in the world, while Pakistan were rewarded for winning the Asian Games gold medal in Guangzhou, China last month, which earned them a direct entry to the 2012 London Olympics.
The dates and host city for the tournament, to be held in November-December next year, will be announced later, the world governing body said in a statement.
The Champions Trophy has been a six-nation event since its inception in 1978 but the FIH decided to add two more teams from next year.
The women's Champions Trophy will also feature eight teams with China and New Zealand joining Argentina, Germany, England, Australia, South Korea and host nation Netherlands, the FIH said.