Indoor hockey mega-show could still take place

• By Michael Uugwanga

THERE is a possibility that the cancelled 2022 Indoor Hockey World Cup that was scheduled to take place in Belgium from February 2 to 6 could still take place at the back end of this year, with reports that Czech Republic has approached the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to host the global showpiece.

The World Cup which was originally scheduled for February last year was postponed to this year before it was cancelled three weeks before the start due to Covid-19 fears, with Namibia’s senior women indoor team and the men’s side losing out as they were due to compete at the tournament.

Even though there is still no concrete information at this stage on whether IHF has come to its conclusion to award the Indoor World Cup to Czech Republic, the possibility of the World Cup taking place later this year could not be completely ruled out as the indoor hockey season runs from October to March.

Namibia Hockey Union (NHU) president Reagon Greig in an interview with Confidente this week said that he will not jump to conclude that the cancelled World Cup could still take place this year, despite him admitting that there were countries that have expressed their interest in hosting it later this year.

“Look everyone was looking forward to the World Cup. After finding out that the World Cup was cancelled some countries have approached FIH if they can host the event. But I as president of NHU did not hear of any concrete information that the World Cup is postponed and not cancelled.

“For me personally I would have preferred the postponement over the cancellation, because the teams have worked very hard in preparations.   For now I cannot create any expectations, however should the announcement come out we will just have to start again,” said Greig.

Grieg was speaking to Confidente at a party held in Windhoek recently in celebration of the Indoor Hockey Ladies team on winning the MTC/Namibia Sports Commission Debmarine Namibia Sport Team of the Year award last year, after the team won the 2021 Africa Indoor Hockey Cup in South Africa.

The team was awarded a trophy and N$100 000 – the money will be distributed amongst the players and the technical team.

Each player will earn N$6 000, while each technical team member including the coach will take home N$4 000.

The women team qualified to the World Cup after winning the Africa Indoor Hockey World Cup, while the men’s team was given a free golden ticket after already qualified nations, Australia and New Zealand withdrew from the event after the two countries pulled out of major FIH competitions due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.