South Africa is continuing to strengthen its claim of becoming a hockey destination by offering to host the 2026 World Cups for men and women at Potchefstroom.
It recently organised the FIH Women’s Junior World Cup besides playing host to some matches, both men and women, of the FIH Pro League. It has developed a new hockey centre at Potchefstroom.
It has made three separate offers, including its preparedness to stage the mega men and women events together besides bidding to stage men and women events separately also.
Other bid to stage the World Cups, both men and women, together has been made jointly by Belgium and the Netherlands.
The executive Board of the International Hockey Federation will meet on November 3 and the general council. Will meet on November 4 and 5 to take a final decision about the venues of the 2026 World Cups for men and women.
It will also decide whether to hold both the events, men and women, together, or separately.
Three nations have made bids to hold the women’s World Cup in 2026. They are Australia, South Africa and Uruguay. For Uruguay that recently won the FIH Hockey5s showcase event for women at Lausanne, in case it gets the nod, it will be first time to hold any major FIH event.
South Africa in its bid mentioned Potchefstroom as the venue for the Women’s World Cup. Uruguay did not mention the name of the city where it wants to hold the elite event while Australia says that it will conduct the tournament by choosing one of Melbourne/Geelong, Perth, Sydney, or Brisbane/Gold Coast.
For the men’s World Cup, England and Wales have made a joint bid. South Africa has also made a bid to hold it in Potchefstroom while Germany, too, has expressed interest in holding the men’s World Cup in 2026.
South Africa has also offered to both the events simultaneously at Potchefstroom in 2026. A similar offer has been jointly made by the Netherlands and Belgium for the 2026 World Cups.
In July this year, Spain and the Netherlands will be playing joint hosts to the women’s World Cup from July 1 to 17 holding the matches at Terrassa (Spain) and Amsterdam (the Netherlands).
The men’s World Cup will be conducted by India at Bhubaneshwar and Rourkela in January, 2023.
It may be pertinent to mention that World Cups, men and women, are 16-team events and are held every four years. The 16th editions are scheduled for 2026.