Awarding consecutive World Cups to India makes sense: FIH CEO

According to Weil, the decision of giving it to India instead of Malaysia made sense considering the financial viability of the sport in the country.

FIH CEO Weil stated that the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar is the best stadium the federation has at its disposal.   -  FIH Website

The decision to award hosting rights of the men’s hockey World Cup to India for the second consecutive time in 2023 was purely based on merit, the International Hockey Federation body (FIH) CEO Thierry Weil said on Tuesday.

According to Weil, the decision of giving it to India instead of Malaysia made sense considering the financial viability of the sport in the country.

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“I am coming from another sport which is football, where whenever we organised an World Cup, we have been extremely criticised to have created white elephants,’ Weil said, in a tele-conference with Indian journalists from Lausanne.

“So, in that sense I am extremely happy that we as a sport have decided to re-use a venue like Bhubaneswar for the second time because there was a lot of effort and investment went in to build this venue, which currently to my knowledge is the best venue we have,” he said.

India will, thus, become the first country to stage four men’s Hockey World Cups after having hosted the showpiece in 1982 (Mumbai), 2010 (New Delhi) and 2018 (Bhubaneswar).

“The bid was an open one. There were quite a lot of good bidders, including Malaysia. Actually, it was decided taking into factor India’s commercial relevance and high financial contribution. FIH needs financial revenues. India did an extremely good job of putting everything on table,” Weil said.

“Some of the countries that bid didn’t have infrastructure and needed huge investments. We made the decisions which make complete sense and completely viable for our sport.”