England Hockey and Hockey Wales have today expressed disappointment that both countries will not get the opportunity to host a home World Cup after the International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced that the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup 2026 will take place in Netherlands and Belgium. They will also host the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup at the same time.
The England and Wales joint bid would have seen a Finals Weekend take place at Tottenham Hotspur’s iconic 62,850 seat stadium with other pool and elimination matches taking place at the Twickenham Stoop, cinch Stadium at Franklin Gardens in Northampton and Cardiff Arms Park in Wales as part of Big Stadium Hockey – innovative technology which allows for international standard playing surfaces to be temporarily laid at stadiums.
The bid also included a commitment to deliver a wide-ranging social impact and legacy programme to increase the reach of the sport and open it up to wider and more diverse audiences across the UK.
England Hockey Chief Executive, Nick Pink said:
“We’d like to congratulate Netherlands and Belgium and wish them every success in hosting both tournaments in 2026. Whilst we are obviously disappointed with the decision, we are proud of our bid and the transformational opportunities it offered the sport. I’d also like to put on record England Hockey’s sincere thanks to our bid partners who have provided such strong support throughout the 24 month process. We are all determined to take forward the planning from our bid around social impact and legacy which will help grow the game and give more people from more diverse communities the chance to play and watch the sport.”
Hockey Wales CEO Ria Burrage-Male, said:
“We would like to congratulate Netherlands and Belgium on their successful bid. Whilst we are disappointed, over the duration of this journey we have built excellent relationships with new partners and grown our great relationship with England Hockey. We will continue to focus our attention on inspiring future generations, ensuring hockey is in everyone’s homes, and ensuring hockey is thriving in our schools and communities.”
UK Sport Chair Katherine Grainger, said:
“UK Sport would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Netherlands and Belgium in winning the bid to host both the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup and the Women’s World Cup in 2026.
“We are of course disappointed that fans across the UK won’t have the chance to watch world class hockey up close, but we remain excited about the potential of the Big Stadium Hockey approach for the sport.”
The bid was developed and supported by twelve partners, with a collective desire to use it as a force for good both for the sport and for wider social impact. The bid partners were England Hockey, Hockey Wales, UK Sport, CSM Sport & Entertainment, Greater London Authority, Welsh Assembly Government, West Northamptonshire Council, Cardiff Council, Cardiff Rugby, Harlequins F.C. Northampton Saints and Tottenham Hotspur.