FIH considering to make World Cup 2018 a multi-city affair

Bhubaneswar, Dec 5:

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is considering to make the men’s World Cup 2018 a multi-city affair as the present infrastructure at the Kalinga Stadium here is not adequate to host 16 teams.

“If the event will be staged here, there is a need to do much more on infrastructure. We are considering every option. We are also thinking to host the events in three-four cities,” FIH representative Kenneth Eric Read said Friday.

He, however, said that he is not aware of how many cities have requested to play host for the quadrennial event.

“Apart from Bhubaneswar, we will have to consider Chennai and Delhi for organising the tournament. We have not made a final decision regarding it,” said Read.

While the temple city is doing everything it can to play a perfect host for the eight-nation Champions Trophy beginning Saturday, successful organisation and crowd presence will decide whether the capital city of Odisha gets to host the 2018 World Cup or not.

“There have been informal discussions with the Odisha government officials. But, there is nothing coming in to the FIH formally. If it comes, FIH will consider the proposal,” said Reid.

According to a Hockey India (HI) official, a 16-team tournament at a single venue would require vast infrastructure while more audience need to come to enjoy the matches.

“If it is an India-Pakistan match, then it’s okay as we know more people will turn out. But, what about other teams? So, we need to consider both infrastructure and crowd,” said the official, who denied to be named.

He said they are identifying other centres that can draw large crowd. (IANS)

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