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India warned it could lose right to host 2010 Hockey World Cup

Great Britain's Rob Moore (L) and Barry Middleton (R) embrace their team to celebrate scoring against India during their men's World Hockey Beijing Olympics Qualifier match at the Country Club in Santiago March 6, 2008. REUTERS/Victor Ruiz Caballero

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - With Indian hockey in disarray, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has said the country could lose the right to host the 2010 World Cup.

The India men’s team, eight-times Olympic champions, were eliminated from the 2008 Games competition last month. Beijing will mark the first time India’s men will miss the Olympics since they sent their first team in 1928.

The Indian federation has also been criticised for refusing to give a free hand to former Australian stalwart Ric Charlesworth, appointed as technical expert to Indian hockey on the world body’s recommendation.

The FIH had given India more time to set things in order but had begun the search for an alternate venue, it said in a statement on its Web site (

An Indian hockey official said on Tuesday the federation would step up work to retain the World Cup.

“We’ve discussed the issue with all our members and we will take effective steps in this matter,” Indian Hockey Federation secretary K.Jothikumaran told Reuters.

“We are confident we can address the issues raised by FIH. We will go all out to retain the World Cup in India.”

The FIH discussed the issues, including tardy progress made on its project “Promoting Indian Hockey” launched last year, at last week’s executive board meeting held in Switzerland.

“After having carefully studied the progress made with the project, as well as the actions taken in the preparation of the World Cup 2010, the executive board noted that satisfactory progress had not been made in either area,” it said.