International Hockey Federation (FIH), the global body for field hockey, has once again awarded the hockey World Cup hosting rights to India, it emerged on Friday.
Following its executive board’s meeting in Lausanne, the FIH said in a statement that India will host the men’s hockey World Cup in January 2023.
“On the occasion of its last meeting of the year, the executive board of the FIH has selected India to host the 2023 World Cup, and Spain and the Netherlands to co-host the 2022 Women’s World Cup,” it said.
This will be the second consecutive and third of last four hockey World Cups to be played in India.
The country had hosted the 2018 World Cup in 2018 at Bhubaneswar, and also hosted the 2010 World Cup in the New Delhi.
Belgium and Malaysia were the rival bidders but the FIH preferred India as the host for hockey’s pinnacle tournament.
According to FIH CEO Thierry Weil, the FIH has received “excellent bids” to host these prestigious events, and therefore, making it a difficult choice.
“Since the primary mission of FIH is to grow the sport worldwide – which of course requires to make investments – the income-generation potential of each bid has played an important role in the decision,” he said while elaborating the reasons behind selecting India as the host country.
The executive board, meanwhile, also approved the qualification process for the World Cup, which means that as the host nation, India will directly qualify for the 16-nation event.
Five other teams will join after winning their respective continental championships, whereas the remaining 10 teams will qualify through a home-and-away play-off, which will have 20 teams involved in the qualifiers.