Oman will host the inaugural Hockey5s World Cup in 2024 ©FIH

Oman has been named as the host of the inaugural International Hockey Federation (FIH) Hockey5s World Cup.

The FIH said the men’s and women’s events will take place in Oman’s capital city Muscat in January 2024.

The governing body said its Executive Board named Oman as host, after a recommendation from the organisation’s Events Bidding Task Force.

Bids were received from Oman, India, Pakistan and Singapore to host the event.

"We’re looking forward to a wonderful inaugural FIH Hockey5s World Cup in Oman," said Thierry Weil, FIH chief executive.

"This surely will be a great boost for the promotion of hockey both in the country and in the whole region.

"We’re convinced that Hockey5s will play a key role in the growth of hockey worldwide.

"This is why this World Cup has been created, as well as a Hockey5s World Tour which we are currently working on and which fans and athletes will have a glimpse of soon with the ‘FIH Hockey5s Lausanne 2021’ event."

Hockey5s has featured at the Youth Olympic Games ©Getty Images
Hockey5s has featured at the Youth Olympic Games ©Getty Images

The FIH Executive Board announced the launch of the Hockey5s World Cup in 2019.

The launch comes as Hockey 5s becomes an increasingly popular format of the sport, played on a smaller pitch and which has featured at the last two Summer Youth Olympic Games.

The World Cup will feature 16 teams per gender, with three featuring per continent.

Oman will qualify for the event as the host nation.

"I am very pleased and delighted," said Talib Al Wahaibi, Oman Hockey Association President.

"We happily undertake this great responsibility to deliver the first ever FIH Hockey 5s World Cup at the highest possible standard.

"We will build state-of-the-art facilities and provide best conditions for the athletes.

"It is a matter of pride for me, Sultanate of Oman, and Oman hockey.

"Our sincere gratitude for giving us the responsibility of hosting the FIH Hockey 5s World Cup for men and women.

"Winning the rights to host this innovative and attractive hockey tournament will open up great horizons and showcase the Sultanate of Oman around the world."

Continental Hockey5s qualifiers for the World Cup will be organised in 2022.

The selection of Oman as the host nation has been criticised by Kate Richardson-Walsh, who captained Britain’s women’s team to Olympic gold at Rio 2016.

Richardson-Walsh was critical of the FIH awarding the event to a country which criminalises homosexuality, with a possible prison sentence of up to three years.

"Today I found out that Oman had been awarded the Hockey 5s 2023 World Cup," Richardson-Walsh wrote on Twitter.

"Today I felt a lot less seen by @FIH_Hockey.

"Awarding tournaments to countries where being LGBTQ+ is illegal is incomprehensible.

"We need to walk the walk and talk the talk. #EquallyAmazing #pride”.

The FIH issued a statement following the criticism, with the organisation vowing to ensure everyone would be welcome to attend the tournament.

The governing body vowed to monitor the situation with organisers.

"Hockey is an inclusive sport and FIH unequivocally promotes inclusion and diversity," an FIH statement read.

"This is a fundamental part of our values and principles, and applies to all FIH events, wherever they might be staged.

"Oman is aware of FIH stance on inclusion and diversity and has ensured FIH that everybody will be welcome at the FIH Hockey5s World Cup, no matter their ethnical background, gender, sexual orientation or religion.

"We will monitor this very closely with the Oman Hockey Association and the Omani authorities.

"Sport is one of the universal languages which helps to build bridges and has proven on a number of occasions that it can be a catalyst for dialogue and positive change in society."