India safe for 2010 World Cup: FIH chief


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Jul 23, 2009
NEW DELHI: Field hockey's world chief on Monday dismissed security concerns over the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi, saying the Indian capital will put on a good show. "We are very happy with the arrangements," International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre said after motorcycle company Hero Honda was unveiled as the main sponsor of the March 7-20 tournament.
"Security will always be an issue at a major sporting event but I have learnt from Indian police officers that everything has being taken care of. "The security of the players from the airport to the hotel, and to the grounds, will be very tight. We do not see any problem there." Security concerns in South Asia have increased after the terror attack on Mumbai in November last year which left 166 people dead and the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in the Pakistani city of Lahore in March.
Sports officials have in recent months been forced to defend New Delhi as a venue for the Commonwealth Games next October after some countries, notably Australia, expressed fears about security. Australia, one of the world's top field hockey nations, refused to send tennis team for the Davis Cup tie against India in the southern city of Chennai due to security worries. Negre said the federation was not looking beyond New Delhi as the World Cup host city and hoped the successful conduct of the 12-nation tournament would revive interest in the sport in India. "There is no standby venue as far as FIH is concerned," the Spaniard said.
"India is one of the most valuable and important members of the FIH family. For the global development of hockey, it is important that Indian hockey should come up and play to its true potential. "The FIH hopes that hosting the 2010 World Cup will give a tremendous boost to Indian hockey." Eight-time Olympic champions India failed to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Games but have gained an automatic entry for the World Cup by virtue of being the hosts.
India, which hosted the 1982 World Cup in Bombay -- now Mumbai -- have won the tournament once in 1975 in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.


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