Chennai likely to host 2018 men’s Hockey World Cup

Hockey India President, Narinder Batra, said the federation was in talks with the Tamil Nadu government for hosting the 2018 men's World Cup in Chennai.

Chennai has only one turf when a minimum two is mandatory for FIH events.   -  M. Vedhan

If things work out according to plan, cities like Chennai and Lucknow would play host to major international hockey tournaments in the coming few years.

Hockey India President, Narinder Batra, said the federation was in talks with the Tamil Nadu government for hosting the 2018 men's World Cup in Chennai. If that happens, it would be the first major international event in the city since the 2007 Asia Cup and the first world level event since the 2005 Champions Trophy.

“We have already had a round of meeting with the government officials and they are positive about it. However, with the state elections scheduled for May this year, we will follow up the discussions after that and if everything works out, we would like Chennai to host the World Cup in 2018,” Batra said.

Besides Chennai, the federation is also trying to promote Lucknow as an international venue and the first step towards that could be the men's Junior World Cup in December this year. Though initial discussions took place during the early stages of Hockey India League matches in the city, Batra said there were certain infrastructural requirements that needed to be completed before a decision could be taken.

“We are very positive about Lucknow but, there are other venues as well that we have kept in mind. A final decision is likely in the next one month,” he said.

Both Chennai and Lucknow, however, would have to make a lot of investment for the same. Both centres have only one turf when a minimum two is mandatory for FIH events, one of the reasons centres like Ranchi are ruled out of the reckoning at the moment.

The one venue that has been confirmed is Bhubaneswar to host the men's Hockey World League Finals in 2017 even as Batra claimed he would quit hockey administration in 2020.

Rule changes post Olympics?

Asked about the experimental scoring rules in the ongoing HIL, FIH president Leandro Negre said he was open to all ideas and there was no harm in trying things at the international level.

“There are rules of the game which are applicable at all levels and then there are regulations which are concerned with a particular tournament. There is no time to try new things, this being the Olympic year, but the FIH Rules Board would be meeting in Lausanne after the HIL and we would be discussing all the developments including the scoring rules. May be we can try some things form next year,” he said.