Stage is set for 9th Men's & Women's Hockey World Cups
Just more than 70 days are left until the start of the 9th Mens and Womens World Cups in Utrecht. Following you will find some interesting and important information about what will be the biggest international hockey event ever!
- The Womens World Cup goes from 20-31 May while the Mens World Cup begins 21st May and concludes 1 June.
- The FIH will be represented during the World Cups by President, Juan Angel Calzado, Hon. Secretary General, Els van Breda Vriesman, and Hon. Treasurer ai., Robert Lycke.
- International Olympic Committee President, Juan Antonio Samaranch, is scheduled to pay a visit to the World Cups on Saturday 23rd May. This is subject to confirmation closer to the event.
- The FIH will hold numerous meetings during the World Cups, including its bi-annual Congress at which time elections for Hon. Secretary General, Hon. Treasurer and 15 Council seats will be held.
- All officials for both the mens and womens tournaments have been notified and accepted their appointments. In addition to three FIH representatives, there are two Tournament Directors, six Technical Officials, two Umpires Managers, two Medical Officers, two Media Officers, 32 Umpires and 12 Judges. A full listing of officials names can be found in the Calendar section. Click on the 9th mens or womens World Cup and then on Officials.
- In addition to the 84 matches to be played in two stadiums over 13 days, more than 150 training sessions have been allocated to the participating teams before and during the tournament.
- There will be 384 athletes participating in this first-ever dual World Cup. All 24 participating teams are busy with training, test series and invitational tournaments to ensure top quality performance in Utrecht.
- The Heineken Press Centre will accommodate approximately 150 journalists from all over the world.
- Dutch national broadcaster NOS will be host broadcaster for the event. Details of production and broadcast are in negotiation and are expected to be finalised soon.
- Sale of the World Cup broadcast rights by FIH agent API Television is an ongoing effort and will continue, if necessary, even until the end of the event. In addition to host country coverage by NOS, ESPN Star Sports is expected to broadcast at least 24 matches and Spains TVE will be taking all the Spanish mens matches. Numerous other deals are in negotiation.
- The final choice for playing surface is DD Action Turf L supplied by Desso/DLW, a type of turf that has a high preference of top level players according to Organising Chairman, Bob Davidzon, who is also Chairperson of the FIH Equipment Committee (so he should know!). The construction of both pitches will be identical to ensure the same kind of playing characteristics.
- A great deal of construction work will also take place outside the stadium. Extensive facilities for spectators, including an entertainment hall, snack bars and a first class restaurant all together creating the "Hockey Plaza" will be built next to the Galgenwaard Stadium. A bridge will be built to cross over a small river, "De Kromme Rijn," to reach the intimate Frockey Stadium, seating 5000 spectators. Next to the Frockey Stadium visitors will find the Hockey Village, a 3.200 mē large hospitality centre to accommodate the numerous guests of the sponsors and the KNHB.
- The total organisation will consist of more than 350 people all with the aim of ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for players, spectators, press and officials.
- The City of Utrecht itself will also offer a warm welcome to World Cup visitors. An extensive cultural and entertainment festival will take place during the 13-day event.
- The World Cup organisers have so far circulated four newsletters around the world. Additional information, including the full match schedule, can be found on both the organisers Internet site - www.rabobank.nl/hockey98 and on the FIH site FIHockey.org (click on the Calendar icon and then on the listings for the World Cups).
- During the event, match results will be posted on the FIH site on a daily (and perhaps per match) basis.
- Ticket sales - Sale of day tickets started in September and already sold out are: Thursday 21 May, Sunday 24 May and Monday 1 June. A limited number of day tickets are still available for Saturday 23 May and Saturday 30 May.
A small number of season tickets for the sideline stand, which are also valid for the "sold out" dates, are still available. Order forms can be obtained by calling one of the World Cup Hockey 1998 information numbers: + 31 30 6566444 or + 31 40 2516605.
- FIH Accreditations - According to Organising Chairman, Bob Davidzon, all requests for FIH accreditation that were received up to two weeks after the deadline of 31 January 1998 (see Hockey News, December 1997) have been dealt with and accommodated on the available seats on the main stand. Requests that were received after this date have been put on a waiting list and will be handled closer to the tournament on a day by day basis, providing there is enough space available in the other stands on the specific days. Accreditation at the gate will virtually impossible, but as mentioned above, tickets are at this moment still for sale for a number of days.