Lausanne: Top ranked India will open its campaign against Italy on the opening day of the first hockey Olympic Qualifying tournament to be held in New Delhi from February 18-26, next year.

India, the highest-ranked team in the tournament at 10, have been grouped along side Canada, France, Poland, Italy and the United States in the men's section of the first of the six Olympic Qualification tournaments to be held at New Delhi's Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

According to the schedules of first four qualifiers released by the International Hockey Federation on Wednesday, hosts India will next play USA on February 19, followed by matches against France (February 21), Canada (February 22) and Poland (February 24) in the group stages.

The final classification matches will be played after a days rest on February 26.

Meanwhile, in the first women's qualifying tournament India have been clubbed alongside South Africa, Italy, Canada, Ukraine and Poland.

In the women's section, India will play Ukraine in their first match on February 18, followed by games against Canada (February 19), Poland (February 21), South Africa (February 22) and Italy (February 24). The classification matches will be held on February 25.

Apart from the schedule of the India event, the FIH also released the dates of the men's Olympic qualifiers scheduled to be held in Dublin (March 10-18) and women's qualifying tournament to be held in Antwerp, Belgium from March 17-25.

The schedule for the remaining men's and women's Olympic qualifiers scheduled to be held in Kakamigahara, Japan from April 25-May 6 will be released at a later date, the FIH said.

In total six Olympic spots are up for grabs, three on the men's side and three on the women's. The winners of each of the six Olympic qualifiers will earn a berth to the 2012 London Games.

Schedule of the men's Olympic Qualifier in India:

February 18: 2:00pm CAN vs USA, 4:00pm FRA vs POL, 8:00pm IND vs ITA

February 19: 12:00pm CAN vs POL, 4:00pm ITA vs FRA, 8:00pm IND vs USA

February 21: 2:00pm ITA vs CAN, 4:00pm POL vs USA, 8:00pm FRA vs IND

February 22: 12:00pm POL vs ITA, 4:00pm USA vs FRA, 8:00pm CAN vs IND

February 24: 2:00pm USA vs ITA, 4:00pm FRA vs CAN, 8:00pm IND vs POL

February 26: 3:00pm 5th in Pool vs 6th in Pool, 5:30pm 3rd in pool vs 4th in pool, 8:00pm 1st in pool vs 2nd in pool.

Schedule of women's qualifying tournament in India:

February 18: 10:00 am RSA vs POL, 12:00pm ITA vs CAN, 6:00pm IND vs UKR

February 19: 10:00 am POL vs ITA, 2:00pm RSA vs UKR, 6:00pm IND vs CAN

February 21: 10:00 am CAN vs UKR, 12:00pm ITA vs RSA, 6:00pm POL vs IND

February 22: 10:00 am UKR vs ITA, 2:00pm CAN vs POL, 6:00pm IND vs RSA

February 24: 10:00 am RSA vs CAN, 12:00pm UKR vs POL, 6:00pm ITA vs IND

February 25: 3:00pm 5th in pool vs 6th in pool, 5:30pm 3rd in pool vs 4th in pool, 8:00pm 1st in pool vs 2nd in pool.

(Agencies)