India to host 2010 men's hockey World Cup

India to host 2010 men's hockey World Cup
New Delhi, Mar 22 (PTI) After a gap of 25 years, India will host the prestigious men's hockey World Cup in 2010, the year when the Commonwealth Games will also be held in the country.

Although India had already been sounded as a possible venue for the mega event, the game's world governing body has now officially communicated to the Indian Hockey Federation.

"The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has allotted the World Cup (men) 2010 to India. The decision has been officially communicated by FIH, after careful consideration of the meticulously prepared bid document of the IHF," IHF Secretary K Jothikumaran said in a press release here today.

The Dhyan Chand National Stadium would be the venue of the tournament to be held in February 2010.

IHF Chief KPS Gill said he was positive about the successful conduct of the tournament and renovation of the venue would begin soon.

"I am very positive. The FIH has sent us the proposal. We are being backed by the Indian Olympic Association and we should hold the tournament properly," he told PTI.

"The venue will be ready in time. Three pitches will be there in the National Stadium and all facilities will be in place. The remodelling will start shortly and by 2009 it will be complete," he said.

Gill yesterday met Director General, SAI, Rattan Wattal who assured that the state of the art facilities at the National Stadium will be in place well before time.

This is the first time that India would be hosting the World Cup (men) on synthetic surface. The only previous occasion when India conducted the mega event was in Bombay in 1982, which was played on grass.

Gill said the IHF would promote umpires from the country so that more of them would be ready for international duty before the World Cup.

"We always promote umpires. But, there is certain process in place," he said.

At present, only one Indian -- Satinder Kumar -- is there in FIH's world panel of umpires while two others -- Raghu Prasad and Virendra Singh -- are in Grade 1. One umpire, Javed Shaikh, is in line for being upgraded to Grade 1 while a few others are there in international panel.

Jothikumaran hoped that India would be able to organise the mega event successfully.

"Things are looking bright. It's a big event which is a good thing to happen. Thanks to the Commonwealth Games organising committee, Ministry of Sports, IOA and SAI for their support. I think we would be able to hold it successfully," he added.

Meanwhile, the FIH has appointed Argentina as the host of the Women's World Cup in 2010.

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