Lahore  -  Pakistan men's hockey team will open its Asian Games campaign against Thailand on August 20 at Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Monday announced fixtures for Asian Games. The 18th edition of the Games will see the highest ever number of participating teams in the history, said a press release issued here on Monday.

A total of 21 teams from 14 countries will go head to head in the men’s and women’s categories in 60 matches over a course of 14 days. The winners of the men’s and women’s categories will book their place in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. All matches will be played in the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Sports Complex, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Total 11 men’s teams have been split into two groups, based on FIH World Rankings. In pool A, India lead the group along with Korea (WR: 14), Japan (WR: 16), Sri Lanka (WR: 38), and Hong Kong China (WR: 45). In Pool B, Malaysia (WR: 12), Pakistan (WR: 13), Bangladesh, Oman, Thailand, and Indonesia, will go head to head to secure top positions.

In women’s category, 10 teams will face-off to achieve Asian dominance and a place in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Pool A will see clashes between China, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong China, and Chinese Taipei, while India, Korea, Thailand, Kazakhstan, and Indonesia will compete in Pool B.

The hockey event will commence on August 19 with the women’s fixtures followed by the men’s fixtures on August 20. After 25 men’s and 20 women’s matches, the classification stage will begin on August 29. The women’s final is scheduled to be played on August 31, while the men’s final will be played on the September 1.

This edition of the Asian Games will be the first Asian Games to have video referral system for all matches of the event. The video referral system has become a permanent feature in the sport and has been an essential tool for technical officials to make crucial decisions, which has contributed towards sports fairness.