NEW DELHI (TIP): India has been awarded the 2018 men’s hockey World Cup, the second time in a span of eight years the country will be hosting the mega event having successfully organised the previous edition three years ago. The 2018 edition will see an expanded field with 16 teams competing in both men’s and women’s events. The 2018 women’s World Cup will be held in England. The women’s tournament is scheduled to take place from 7-21 July, with the men’s event planned for 1- 16 December. India last hosted the World Cup in New Delhi in 2010 while the next edition will be held next year in The Hague, Netherlands in the first two weeks of June. “The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is delighted to announce that England and India will host the Hockey World Cups in 2018. England Hockey were successful in their bid to host the women’s showpiece, with Hockey India winning the race to host the men’s equivalent,” world body FIH said in a statement late Thursday night. The announcements were made by FIH president Leandro Negre at a special ceremony in Lausanne, Switzerland.

“I wish to offer my sincere congratulations to England Hockey and Hockey India on their successful bids to host the Hockey World Cups 2018,” said Negre. “The quality of both bids was truly extraordinary, and the FIH is looking forward to bringing its top properties to England and India. The standard was exceptionally high, making the decision extremely hard for the FIH Executive Board.” Held every four years, the World Cup brings together the world’s greatest teams and most skilful players for the toughest, most competitive international hockey event. Both the Men’s and Women’s Hockey World Cups 2018 will feature an increased 16-nation field of participants, confirming the growing interest and development of the sport. Next year’s hugely anticipated Rabobank Hockey World Cup, which takes place in The Hague, Netherlands during the first two weeks of June, will see twelve men’s and twelve women’s teams competing. “The decision certainly was not an easy one to make,” said FIH Chief Executive Officer Kelly Fairweather, reflecting on the bidding process. “All of the bids that we received were exceptional, being completely in line with our strategy to deliver the most entertaining, exciting and inspiring hockey events in the world.

“The FIH Executive Board were hugely impressed by the bids from England Hockey and Hockey India, and are convinced that both National Associations will deliver absolutely magnificent tournaments.” As part of the bidding process, the FIH requested that bid questionnaires were submitted before a deadline of 31 August. The second phase of the process saw each bid evaluated in detail, as well as further discussions, clarifications, site visits and negotiations taking place with the respective National Associations. The World Cup hosts’ announcement is part of FIH’s new event assignment process, which was launched and presented to the National Associations at the FIH Congress in November 2012. The re-structured bidding process was designed to ensure that the majority of the unallocated events for the 2015-2018 period would be assigned before the end of this year. The FIH will make an announcement about the host nations of these events in due course.