Meeting virtually on the eve of the start of the 48th FIH Congress, the Executive Board of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Thursday selected Belgium and the Netherlands to jointly host the 2026 FIH Hockey Women's and Men's World Cups simultaneously.
The combined event will take place in July or August 2026 in Amsterdam/Amstelveen, Netherlands and Wavre, Belgium, with female and male teams playing in both venues, the FIH informed in a release on Thursday.
The proposed format for the match schedule -- with one local team, Belgium or the Netherlands, playing each day to make sure to fill the venues every day, seems to have influenced the EB's decision.
Commenting on the decision, FIH CEO Thierry Weil 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!"
The EB also approved the budget for 2023. The expected FIH financial result is an operational profit of 1m CHF (including 150k profit from the FIH Hockey Pro League) thanks, to a large extent, to the upcoming FIH Hockey Men's World Cup in India.
The EB, chaired by President of the African Hockey Federation (AfHF) Seif Ahmed, also confirmed that the winners of the FIH Hockey Pro League in season 5 (2023/2024) and season 6 (2024/2025) will directly qualify for the 2026 FIH Men's and Women's World Cups. If the winner of season 6 is already qualified in season 5, the runner-up in season 6 will be offered the direct qualification place.
The 48th FIH Congress will take place virtually on November 4 and 5.