Hockey: India withdraws bid to host women’s World Cup

India, which had initially showed interest in hosting either men's or women's world cup, has now presented its bid only to host the men's tournament.

India, which has hosted the men's World Cup thrice, wants to conduct the event in the January 13 to 29, 2023 window.   -  Hockey Indian Twitter

Hockey India has withdrawn its application to host the next women’s World Cup and has bid for the men’s event in 2023. The final decision on hosting rights will be decided by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) on November 8. .

The final list of bidders for both events – to be held in 2022-23 – was announced on Thursday and is vastly different from the original list of national federations who had expressed interest in hosting the quadrennial events. Interestingly, the window for applying and the date for deciding the hosts has also been changed repeatedly citing requests from countries.

The application date was initially extended till January 31, 2019 after the FIH finalised the two windows for hosting the tournaments – July 1-17, 2022 and January 13-29, 2023. Back then, Germany and India were the only two bidders open to hosting either men or women but while Germany preferred the first window, India opted for the second. Belgium and Netherlands were not in the reckoning for either and Australia had expressed desire to host the women’s competition.

Final bids received:
  • For July 1-17, 2022
  • Men’s World Cup: Belgium and Malaysia
  • Women’s World Cup: Germany, Spain and Netherlands
  • For January 13-29, 2023:
  • Men’s World Cup: India
  • Women’s World Cup: Malaysia and New Zealand

A decision was to be taken in June 14 but on June 4, the FIH announced it had postponed the announcement to November following request from several bidding countries “in order to give them more time to finalise the governmental guarantees”.

There was no mention of re-opening bids, though, which remained the same as in February, leading one to assume it was only an administrative issue. However, on September 3, the FIH re-opened the bidding process till the end of the month.

Australia withdrew then, while the rest remained the same. But now, Germany has opted only for the women’s event, as has Spain, with Netherlands joining the battle. Malaysia has jumped in for either gender after initially being interested only in men and is joined by Belgium as a fresh applicant for the men’s event.

An FIH Task Force would meet on November 6 to examine the bids and make a recommendation to the Executive Board which would make the final decision on November 8, 2019. The previous World Cups were held in London (women) and Bhubaneswar (Men) in 2018. India would become the first country to host back-to-back editions of the tournament if it gets the nod.