LAUSANNE, Switzerland - Meeting virtually on the eve of the start of the 48th FIH Congress under the chairmanship of FIH Acting President Seif Ahmed, the Executive Board of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) today 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 proposed format for the match schedule - with one local team, Belgium or the Netherlands, playing each day in order to make sure to fill the venues every day -, the particularly solid financial foundation of this bid – including the support from the host broadcasters – as well as the athletes’ performance and well-being have been instrumental in 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!”
On a different note, the EB received a comprehensive report on the FIH Finances. Thanks to additional income and reduced expenses, the final operational profit for 2022 is expected to be higher than the 500k CHF budgeted. The FIH Hockey Pro League operational result is also positive by 129k for season 3 (2021-22) and is expected to amount to at least 150k for season 4 (2022-23).
For 2023, the budget has been approved by the EB. 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 positive evolution of the FIH Hockey Pro League in financial terms is confirmed by its financial result figures: it started from -750k in 2018 (season 0) and -3.5m in 2019 (season 1) to -124k in season 2, +129k for season 3 and +150k for season 4. Therefore, after two difficult years (2018 and 2019), the Pro League finances remained stable in 2020 and 2021 - despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of 35% of the matches! - to 2022 and 2023, where the forecast is, as mentioned above, positive.
Furthermore, the EB decided that the publication of the audited accounts will now be done annually – rather than after their approval by the bi-annual Congress as is currently the case – while still being approved by the Congress.
The EB 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.
Since the President of the African Hockey Federation (AfHF), Seif Ahmed, was chairing today’s meeting in his capacity of FIH Acting President, the Acting President of AfHF, Nii Quaye-Kumah (Ghana) attended this FIH EB meeting. The next meeting of the FIH Executive Board will take place on January 28, 2023.
The 48th FIH Congress will take place virtually on November 4 and 5.