CHANDIGARH, JULY 27 : Hero Honda Motors Ltd, the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer will be the title sponsor of International Hockey’s showcase event – The FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup 2010.
The prestigious, once-in-four-year extravaganza will be officially named “HERO HONDA FIH WORLD CUP 2010″. It will be held in March 2010 in New Delhi.
This was announced at a glittering ceremony by International Hockey Federation (FIH), Indian Olympic Association and Hockey India.
Mr. Leandro Negre, FIH President, who was present on the occasion, 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. I also strongly believe that the support of Hero Honda – which is one of the most visible brands committed to the promotion of sports in India – will greatly contribute not only to the success of the World Cup, but also to the growth of hockey in the country.”
Mr. Pawan Munjal, Managing Director and CEO of Hero Honda Motors Ltd. said, “India has a cherished hockey history and a glorious tradition. We are therefore delighted to sponsor the FIH World Cup 2010, with the earnest hope that hosting the World Cup in India will rejuvenate hockey and rekindle the passion for it. We will continue to invest in sports with the objective of seeing India emerge as a global superpower in sports.”
Gracing the occasion, Mr. Suresh Kalmadi, President of IOA, said. “The FIH World Cup 2010 will serve as an ideal preparatory platform for the Commonwealth Games, to be held in India in the same year. The tournament will herald to an exciting year in Indian sport.”
Also present on the occasion, were the members of the Indian Team which won the World Cup in 1975. It was India’s one and only title win at the tournament. India, who won the bronze in 1971 and silver in 1973, have not finished among medals since 1975.
The present Indian hockey team will be looking to reclaim past glory in the 12th edition of the tournament, this time on home turf. India will have to face stiff challenge from the 11 other competing teams, vying for hockey’s biggest prize.
Only five countries have won the World Cup. Pakistan have been the most successful team having won the tournament four times, while Netherlands have won it three times. Germany, who won the last edition in 2006, have emerged champions twice. India and Australia have won once each. At the last edition in Monchengladbach, Germany beat Australia 4-3 in the final.
Introduced in 1971, the world cup was held every two years until 1975 and then from 1978 onwards the competition has been held every four years midway through two Olympics.
The gala ceremony at the Le Meridien Hotel in New Delhi, also saw the coveted Hockey World Cup Trophy being put on display.