By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

Hockey_World_Cup_trophyNovember 11 - London's bid to host the 2014 Hockey World Cup failed today when the event was surprisingly awarded to the Netherlands.

The decision, taken by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) at its Congress and Forum in Montreux, to award the event to The Hague stunned the England Hockey Board.

The bid, which was developed with the support of Visit London's Events for London and UK Sport's major event teams and was backed by boxing promoter Frank Warren, had proposed hosting the men's and women's tournaments in tandem at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre, hockey's legacy facility from the 2012 Olympic Games.

It would have been the first event to be staged in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after 2012.

Sally Munday, chief executive of the EHB, who led the bid team, said:"This is a real disappointment for hockey in England.

"We thought the London bid provided a fantastic opportunity to engage with the 630,000 spectators that will be attending hockey matches at the London Olympics but clearly it was not meant to be.

"We felt that our focus on the legacy for hockey in this country and the commercial package that we put together would stand us in good stead; however, we always knew that it would be tough competition against the Dutch bid.

"Hockey is huge in the Netherlands, they have great experience in hosting world level events and I am sure the 2014 World Cups will be very successful."

The men's and women's World Cup will take place in The Hague between June 2 and 15, 2014.

The Netherlands last held the World Cup in Utrecht in 1998, while Britain has not staged the event since 1986. 

FIH President Leandro Negre claimed that it was a difficult decision.

He said: "The bids from The KNHB and England Hockey were both outstanding, two of the best that we have ever seen.

"It was a very close decision, but we offer our congratulations to the Netherlands, who we are sure will stage an unforgettable double World Cup event.

"England Hockey's bid has reinforced their importance as a partner for future FIH events, and we are keen to maximise the use of London 2012's legacy facility."

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