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Friday, December 5, 2008

No plans to shift 2010 World Cup from India

Spaniard Leandro Negre replaced Els van Breda Vriesman as the new president of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), beating her in the elections held during the governing body’s Congress in Los Angeles on November 30. Negre, who was the president of the European Hockey Federation, will hold the office for a term of four years. He spoke to Joe Williams about the Indian hockey and cleared the air about the threat of shifting the 2010 World Cup from India

What is in store for the game in general and India in particular?
My long term goals will be a combination between what the FIH is doing well at this moment and the projects I presented in my election campaign. The ultimate goal is to make the sport of hockey stronger than it is now.

Seven coaches were shortlisted by the former FIH chief. Can India look forward to a new horizon in our national sport?
India has played a key part in the history of hockey. The FIH hopes that this country will play a key role in the future again.

What will be FIH’s role in helping India get back to the helm?
India is one of the key hockey nations. The FIH started the project ‘Promoting Indian Hockey’ in late 2006 and under my leadership this project will definitely not end.

When are you visiting India?
At this stage, the plans for visiting India are not fixed yet. But I am sure that during the first part of 2009 a visit by the FIH will be made.

The FIH expanded its cooperation with You Tube. Your comments?
You Tube is a great tool to attract young people to our sport.

Will recent terror strikes have any impact on 2010 World Cup allotted to New Delhi?
At this stage there is no reason not to host the 2010 men’s World Cup in India. The FIH signed the memorandum of understanding for our showcase event in August this year and I don’t see any reason for me to change this. However, the FIH will monitor the situation in India to make sure that the event will be organized at the highest possible level.

The Indian Olympic Association has provisionally recognized the Indian Hockey Confederation (IHC) as the sole governing body for the game in India. What has happened to the proposal of renaming the IHC to Hockey India?
The proposal to rename the IHC to Hockey India has been accepted by the FIH Congress.


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