India will host WC, says FIH President

India will host WC, says FIH President

Hero Honda to sponsor 2010 mega event

India will host WC, says FIH President

(L-R)International Field Hockey Federation President Leandro Negre, IOA President Suresh Kalmadi, India's 1975 World Cup winning team's captain Ajit Pal Singh and Hero Honda Motors Director Pawan Munjal pose with the 2010 Field Hockey World Cup in New Delhi on Monday.AP“Forget it now. Shifting the event to Malaysia was a plan B which we always have to keep prepared in case of any eventuality. But now that’s over, there is no need of any plan B,” FIH President Leandro Negre told reporters after a function at which Hero Honda was named as the title sponsors of the event.

“At this moment everything is going on schedule so there is nothing to worry about. I am very happy with how the things are going on, I am happy with the progress made by Hockey India,” Negre said.
The FIH President, however, reminded Hockey India officials that as per the the constitution of the world body, conducting democratic elections within the stipulated six month’s time is mandatory to host the mega event. “Hockey India has to conduct democratic elections before the World Cup but we are not imposing any deadlines. Deadlines are deadlines and everything has to be in place before the World Cup.
“The merger of the men’s and women’s federations at the state level is very much essential,” he said. Negre said although he was satisfied with the pace of construction work at the National Stadium here, the venue must be ready by January next year to conduct test events.

“I’ve inspected the stadium during my last visit and tomorrow again I’ll be officially visiting it. But before the World Cup we always conduct test events and the stadium has to be ready before December or January next year,” Negre said.

“Till now I don’t have any negative report on the preparations. I am not a political person. What is needed to do for the good of hockey, I will do that,” he said.
The FIH President also assured that top class security arrangement would be put in place for the visiting teams during the entire course of the tournament.

“Security remains an issue worldwide, not only in Asia, but we are taking stock of the situation from time to time. We will ensure that from the time the teams land in the airport, they will be given elite security till the time they leave the India,” said Negre, who was the goalkeeper of Spain hockey team during the 1968 Mexico Olympics. Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi, Hockey India President AK Mattoo and the 1975 World Cup winning members of the Indian team were present at the function.

Meanwhile, Hero Honda Motors Ltd has been named the title sponsor for the 2010 FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup to be held here in March next year.

Mattoo said 2010 would be a landmark year in the history of Indian hockey for the sheer magnitude of the event to be held in the national capital.

Meanwhile, IOA President Kalmadi said Hockey India was determined to form a democratically elected body with men and women federation under one roof before the World Cup, a mandatory clause put forth by the FIH.

“We are duty bound to bring up the standard of hockey in India. We have a difficult task at hand to merge men and women’s hockey at the state level but it is a challenge and we are certain to hold elections within the stipulated six month’s time,” Kalmadi said.