India in fray to host 2018 Hockey WC
India are among the five nations, who have placed their bids before the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to host the 2018 Hockey World Cup.
The FIH said that it had received seven high quality bids from five nations who are all vying for the chance to host men's and women's showpiece events to be held simultaneously.
According to a FIH statement, four official proposals to host the men's World Cup have been made, with a further three submissions being made for the women's tournament.
The National Associations of Australia, England, India, Malaysia, and New Zealand have all put extremely strong cases forward in an attempt to lure the sport's top properties to their territory, the statement added.
As part of the bidding process, the FIH requested that official bid questionnaires were submitted before the August 31 deadline.
The FIH received official submissions from five of the original six nations that initially expressed interest earlier in the year. The next phase of the process will feature the detailed evaluation of each bid which will be followed by further discussions and clarifications with NAs as well as site visits to each country.
The final decision will rest with the FIH Executive Board in Lausanne, Switzerland, with the winning bids being announced on November 7.
"The FIH is thrilled to have received such an excellent response from National Associations regarding the great opportunity to host Hockey World Cup events in 2018," said FIH Chief Executive Officer, Kelly Fairweather.
"The quality and competitiveness of every single bid is impressive, demonstrating that the decision to allocate events earlier and across the entire four-year cycle was absolutely the right move for hockey. All of the bids show a determination and desire to deliver the most entertaining, exciting and inspiring hockey events in the world, which is in line with our strategy to take hockey to the next level. With such strong competition between the bidding nations, it is clear that the choice will not be an easy one to make."
India had last hosted the World Cup in 2010 before the New Delhi Commonwealth Games.
The official bids received for the World Cups are part of the new event assignment process which was launched and presented to the National Associations at the FIH Congress in November last year.
The re-structured bidding process will ensure that all unallocated events for the 2015-2018 period will be assigned before the end of this year. A total of 20 events between 2015 and 2018, as well as the men's and women's Indoor World Cups 2019, will be assigned from 54 bids submitted to the FIH for assessment.
Both the men's and women's Hockey World Cups in 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, to be held in The Hague, Netherlands, during the first two weeks of June, will see 12 men's and an equal number of women's teams compete in a joint tournament.
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