Thursday, June 30, 2022

England Hockey bids to stage 2026 men’s World Cup with Wales

England could host a men’s World Cup for the first time in 40 years if bidding goes their way to stage the 2026 event.

England have bid to stage hockey’s standalone showpiece ‘in partnership with Wales’, while host cities for the men’s bid have yet to be confirmed at this stage.

England will go up against Germany and South Africa, while Belgium and Netherlands have put in a joint bid to stage both the 2026 men’s and women’s World Cup at the same time, along with South Africa.

The last combined World Cup was held in The Hague in 2014, widely considered to be one of the best staged showpieces.

Following India’s back-to-back hosting, it means that the men’s World Cup will be staged outside of Asia for only the third time in over 25 years when the FIH announce the winning bid in early November.

England will come up against stiff competition in the combined bid, with Belgium eager to stage a World Cup after Olympic men’s success, and the completion of the mooted venue in Wavre, along with Amstelveen’s Wagener Stadium.

“We look forward to working with both the FIH and our partners and sharing more information on the bid itself in the coming weeks,” an England Hockey statement read.

Holland celebrate 2018 World Cup success in London PIC: England Hockey

England last hosted the men’s World Cup in 1986, the London (Willesden) event coming two years before GB won Olympic gold in Seoul. England last staged the World Cup when hosting the 2018 competition in London, billed as the biggest standalone women’s sporting event the country had ever seen.

After withdrawing to host the upcoming co-hosted 2022 World Cup, Australia are back with a bid to host the 2023 women’s event, with four cities in line to host. Aussie officials will be hopeful of a win ahead of hosting the 2032 Olympics.

South Africa have never hosted a men’s or women’s World Cup.

FULL BIDS

2026 FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup:

Australia (host city: Melbourne/Geelong, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane/Gold Coast – to be confirmed)
South Africa (host city: Potchefstroom)
Uruguay (host city: to be confirmed)

2026 FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup:

England, in partnership with Wales (host cities: to be confirmed)
Germany (host city: to be confirmed)
South Africa (host city: Potchefstroom)

2026 Men/Women combined World Cup

Belgium/Netherlands (host cities: Wavre and Amstelveen)
South Africa (host city: Potchefstroom)

The FIH launched its bidding process in February and will announce the winner on Nov 4-5.

FIH chief Thierry Weil said: “We’re looking at really strong, and also diverse, bids here. We will now conduct a thorough analysis of each dossier so that the Event Bidding Task Force is fully informed of all aspects when making their recommendation to the Executive Board.”

The looming 16-team Women’s World Cup will be played in July in Spain and the Netherlands, while the next FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup will take place in January 2023 in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, India.

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