Belgium and the Netherlands will jointly host the combined 2026 editions of the FIH Hockey Women’s and Men’s World Cups, it was announced yesterday (November 3).
The event will take place in July or August 2026 at a venue in each of the Belgian city of Wavre and the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, with men’s and women’s matches to take place across both locations.
As part of the proposed format of the event, either Belgium or the Netherlands will play locally each day to ensure that at least one of the two venues is filled daily.
The FIH governing body for field hockey and organizer of the World Cups has said that “the particularly solid financial foundation” of the bid from Belgium and the Netherlands, including support from host broadcasters, was instrumental in the awarding decision of its executive board.
The board made its selection on the eve of the start of its 48th congress yesterday.
The last men’s edition of the quadrennial World Cup, won by Belgium, was held in the Indian city of Bhubaneswar in 2018, with the next to be the delayed 2022 edition to be held again in Bhubaneswar and also the planned Indian city of Rourkela in 2023.
The 2018 edition of the women’s tournament was held in London, UK, and won by the Netherlands, who also won the preceding 2014 tournament on home turf in The Hague and the subsequent 2022 edition in July hosted across Terrassa in Spain and Amstelveen, again in the Netherlands.
Thierry Weil, chief executive of the FIH, said: “On behalf of FIH, I would like to thank wholeheartedly all national associations that submitted a bid. We received excellent proposals and it was, therefore, a particularly challenging task to decide.
“We’re very much looking forward to working with the National Associations of the current Women’s and Men’s World and Olympic Champions, the Netherlands and Belgium respectively, that will undoubtedly put together outstanding World Cups.”
Separately, it has been confirmed that the final operational profit for the FIH in 2022 is expected to be higher than the CHF500,000 ($494,000) forecast as a result of higher-than-expected income and reduced expenses.
The international FIH Hockey Pro League, the first season of which was held in 2019, posted a profit of CHF129,000 for the 2021-22 season, its third, and is expected to generate a profit of at least CHF150,000 in the 2022-23 season.
An operational profit of CHF1 million is forecast for the FIH overall in 2023, including the Pro League figure, with the upcoming FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup in India credited as a major factor in that.
The FIH added that, after two difficult founding years for the Pro League in 2018 (pre-launch) and 2019, its finances have been in the black since its second season.
It has also been confirmed that the winners of the FIH Hockey Pro League in season 5 (2023-24) and season 6 (2024-25) will directly qualify for the 2026 FIH Men’s and Women’s World Cups.