New Delhi: India is among six nations shortlisted by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to host the 2018 World Cup as the game's apex body announced the names of the applicants after its Executive Board meeting in Lausanne last week.
"The International Hockey Federation is pleased to announce that in its meeting on Saturday, the FIH Executive Board confirmed the shortlist of applicants for the Hockey World Cups 2018 to include Australia, Belgium, England, India, Malaysia and New Zealand," the apex body said on its website.
India successfully hosted the World Cup in 2010, followed by the Commonwealth Games in the same year, though Australia, England and Malaysia too have the experience of hosting FIH's premier event and are equally favourites to bag the rights for the 2018 edition.
File photo of the 2010 FIH World Cup trophy. (Reuters)
"Belgium and New Zealand are new to bidding for the World Cup but have both successfully hosted international events in recent years, such as last year's women's Olympic qualifier and the men's Champions Trophy 2011, respectively," FIH said.
The field of play at the 2018 World Cup will be increased to 16 teams from the usual 12.
"The high interest to host by our Member Associations, especially for the World Cup, is extremely encouraging and we are very happy with the positive reaction to the FIH's new event assignment process. This successful first phase reaffirms our efforts to develop and strengthen our event brands and confirms the FIH's choice to select hosts much further in advance than previously," FIH President Leandro Negre said.
The last date of submission of the bids is August 31, 2013, but before that the applicants will go through a one-day workshop on May 7 in Lausanne to prepare their bids. The FIH will announce the name of the hosts, venues and dates of the 2018 men's and women's hockey World Cups on November 8, 2013.
Shortlist of applicants:
Australia (Men and/or Women)
Belgium (Men and/or Women)
New Zealand (Men and/or Women)