(Last Updated on : 31/08/2012)
Hockey World Cup is an international field hockey competition organized by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). The tournament commenced in the year 1971. It is also known as the Hockey World Championships. Hockey World Cup is held every four years, bridging the four years between the Summer Olympics. Five countries have dominated the event`s history. Pakistan is the most successful team, having won the tournament four times. The Netherlands have won three titles, and Germany and Australia have each won two titles. India won the tournament once.
There is also a Women`s Hockey World Cup, which has been held since 1974 and was organized by the International Federation of Women`s Hockey Associations (IFWHA) until 1981, when the governing bodies merged into the current International Hockey Federation in 1982. The 2010 Hockey World Cup was held in India from February 28 to March 13 at New Delhi
`s Dhyan Chand National Stadium. Australia defeated Germany 2-1 in the final, to win their second World Cup title.
History of Hockey World Cup
The Hockey World Cup was first conceived by Pakistan`s Air Marshal Nur Khan. He proposed his idea to the FIH under the name of Patrick Rowley, the first editor of World Hockey magazine. Their idea was approved on October 26, 1969, and adopted by the FIH Council at a meeting in Brussels on April 12, 1970. The FIH decided that the inaugural World Cup would be held in October 1971, in Pakistan. However, political issues would prevent that first competition from being played in Pakistan. Pakistan and India had been at war with each other only six years earlier. When Pakistan invited India to compete in the tournament, a crisis arose. Pakistanis, led by cricketer Abdul Hafeez Kardar, protested against India`s participation in the Hockey World Cup. Given the intense political climate between Pakistan and India, the FIH decided to move the tournament elsewhere. In March 1971, the FIH decided to move the first Hockey World Cup to the Real Club de Polo grounds in Barcelona, Spain, which was considered a neutral and peaceful European site.
The FIH has set no requirements or limitations on the size of the competition. The 1971 Cup included only ten nations, the smallest World Cup to date. The 1978 Cup featured fourteen nations. The 2002 Cup featured sixteen nations, the largest World Cup to date. The remaining 9 World Cups have featured 12 nations. The first three tournaments were held every two years. The 1978 Cup was the only tournament held three years from the previous tournament. Since 1982, the tournament has been held every four years, halfway between the Summer Olympics field hockey competition. The 2006 Hockey World Cup was held at the Warsteiner Hockey Park, Germany from September 6 to September 17. Germany won for the second time, defeating A
ustralia 4-3 in the final.
India`s Performance at the Hockey World Cup
It has been 27 years since India won any medal at the World Cup. Only 3 Indians, Mohinder Singh
, Rajinder Singh
and Mukesh Kumar
have scored more than 2 goals in a single World Cup match. Only 2 Indians, Ashok Kumar
, son of legendary Dhyan Chand
, and Dhanraj Pillai, have participated in 4 World Cup tournaments. In the first 3 World Cups, India lost only one match during the entire tournament. In the 1986 and 1990 World Cups, India won only one match during the entire tournament. India has won only one Hockey World Cup to date, in 1975.
A capacity crowd of 40,000 turned up at Merdeka Stadium for the semi-final between India and Malaysia. Malaysia led 2-1 well into the game. With only 8 minutes left in the game Ashok Kumar
brought about the penalty corner for India and Aslam Sher Khan
sent the ball in for the goal. It was 2-2 at the end of regulation. In the third minute of extra-time, V. J. Philips sprinted down the right flank and sent in a sizzling cross to Harcharan, who made no mistake. The game was over for the spirited Malaysians, and India took her place in the final to play traditional rivals Pakistan. Pakistan had beaten India in the 1971 World Cup, but lost to India in the 1973 World Cup semi-final.
For the first time since 1964, India had won a world title. It was only the 5th victory against Pakistan in 15 encounters. They had scored two goals against Pakistan for the first time. Millions of fans followed the dramatic final on All India Radio
. Even Doordarshan
showed the final later.
India`s victory in the World Cup was celebrated with great joy with the entire team parading in different parts of the country. Indian Hokey
obtained a whole generation of young fans by that one world title, and it remains one of Indian hockey`s most memorable games.