KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s is among four bids shortlisted by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for the 2018 Men’s World Cup.
India, Australia and New Zealand are the other three countries to have made officials bids. England has also made a bid for the 2018 Women’s World Cup along with Australia and New Zealand.
The FIH confirmed on Tuesday that bids from these countries had been received by the Aug 31 closing date.
The FIH said in a statement that they received seven high quality bids from five nations to host hockey’s marquee events.
As part of the bidding process, the FIH requested that official bid questionnaires be submitted before the Aug 31 deadline.
The next phase of the process will feature the detailed evaluation of each bid, followed by further discussions and clarifications with the national associations as well as site visits to each country.
The final decision will be made by the FIH Executive Board in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Nov 7.
All the countries, except for New Zealand, have hosted the World Cup before.
Malaysia hosted it in 1975 and 2002; India in 1982 (Bombay) and 2010 (New Delhi); England in 1986 (London); and Australia in 1994 (Sydney).
Malaysia is proposing that the preliminary rounds be held in Kuantan and Johor Baru before moving the final round to Kuala Lumpur. The proposal also includes hosting the whole tournament in Kuala Lumpur.
Both the men’s and women’s World Cups 2018 will feature an increased 16-nation field.
When Kuala Lumpur hosted the event in 2002, the FIH expanded the number of teams to 16 to accommodate Malaysia as the host nation. So that’s a plus point.
Malaysia had, earlier this year, also made a successful bid for next year’s Champions Challenge I tournament, which will be held in Kuantan in April.
“The FIH are thrilled to receive such excellent response from the National Associations regarding the great opportunity to host the 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.”
The official bids received for the World Cups are part of the new event assignment process launched and presented to the national associations at the FIH Congress last November.
“The restructured bidding process will ensure that all unallocated events for the 2015-2018 period will be assigned before the end of this year,” he said.
“A total of 20 events between 2015 and 2018, as well as the men’s and women’s Indoor World Cups in 2019, will be assigned from 54 bids submitted to the FIH for assessment.”