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England-Wales World Cup bid may ‘remodel’ hockey

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England-Wales World Cup bid may ‘remodel’ hockey

2022-09-21 18:58:55


‘We may very well be enjoying hockey in entrance of 62,000 individuals’ – Shipperley

An bold plan for England and Wales to host the most important hockey World Cup but may assist remodel the game, in line with Wales captain Rupert Shipperley.

The 2 nations have submitted a joint bid to host the boys’s World Cup in 2026 throughout 4 venues – with the ultimate matches being performed at Tottenham Hotspur’s 62,000-seater stadium.

The one earlier males’s World Cup held within the UK was in London again in 1986.

The Worldwide Hockey Federation (FIH) will announce the host, or hosts, in November – with Germany and South Africa among the many rival bidders.

“It is a bit nerve-wracking to assume we may very well be enjoying in entrance of 62,000 individuals,” Shipperley informed BBC Sport Wales at an occasion on the Tottenham stadium.

“That is the most important stadium I’ve ever been to – as participant but in addition as a fan of any sport. So it might be large for the game and a brand new expertise for hockey.

“When you’d had mentioned ten years in the past I might be stood right here saying probably in a few years we may very well be enjoying on this pitch, I might have laughed at you. There’s an actual alternative to rework the sport of hockey on the worldwide stage.”

‘Unreal assist’

The pool matches of the 16-team occasion can be performed at Cardiff Arms Park, Twickenham Stoop in London and Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton.

It might be the primary time Wales has hosted World Cup fixtures. Its nationwide sides have solely been to 1 World Cup earlier than – the ladies’s occasion in Malaysia in 1983.

England and Wales gamers have been at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to launch the bid.

The boys’s facet have certified for his or her first World Cup in India in January.

“It is good to see the popularity we’re getting,” mentioned goalkeeper Toby Reynolds-Cotterill, whose shoot-out saves have been instrumental in Wales’ qualification for the 2023 occasion.

“We have had fairly a journey during the last eight years. Now qualifying for the World Cup in January and hopefully going to the following one [in 2026], it is good to see the popularity of us and a federation.

“Hopefully we are able to get some excellent crowds, particularly if we’re enjoying in Cardiff. The assist we would get could be unreal.”

England Hockey chief government Nick Pink mentioned the bid workforce wished to go ‘daring’ with the occasion.

“It is about placing hockey into new environments,” he mentioned.

“It would be completely unbelievable to have 62,000 individuals watching right here [in Tottenham]. It is about that transformation and pushing the game into a distinct realm.

“However the second half is the legacy and the social impression. We at all times wished this to be a venture that took the game proper throughout the UK.

“Taking it proper into the center of a serious metropolis like Cardiff is simply improbable for us. It is about getting Welsh followers and Welsh communities excited in regards to the sport of hockey. They see it in rugby and different main sports activities – however they’ve not seen hockey in that house earlier than.

“That for me is the drive to attempt to interact new communities, new audiences and maintain our sport for future generations.”

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