New Delhi:The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Monday cleared any doubt over India hosting the men's World Cup next year and said Malaysia was no longer the back-up venue for the mega event starting here from March 7.
"Forget it now. Shifting the event to Malaysia was a plan B which we always have to keep prepared in case of any eventuality. But now that's over, there is no need of any plan B," FIH President Leandro Negre told reporters here.
"At this moment everything is going on schedule so there is nothing to worry about. I am very happy with how the things are going on, I am happy with the progress made by Hockey India," Negre said.
The FIH President, however, reminded Hockey India officials that as per the the constitution of the world body, conducting democratic elections within the stipulated six month's time is mandatory to host the mega event.
"Hockey India has to conduct democratic elections before the World Cup but we are not imposing any deadlines. Deadlines are deadlines and everything has to be in place before the World Cup.
"The merger of the men's and women's federations at the state level is very much essential," he said.
Negre said although he was satisfied with the pace of construction work at the National Stadium here, the venue must be ready by January next year to conduct test events.
"I've inspected the stadium during my last visit and tomorrow again I'll be officially visiting it. But before the World Cup we always conduct test events and the stadium has to be ready before December or January next year," Negre said.
"Till now I don't have any negative report on the preparations. I am not a political person. What is needed to do for the good of hockey, I will do that," he said.
The FIH President also assured that top class security arrangement would be put in place for the visiting teams during the entire course of the tournament.
"Security remains an issue worldwide, not only in Asia, but we are taking stock of the situation from time to time. We will ensure that from the time the teams land in the airport, they will be given elite security till the time they leave the India," said Negre, who was the goalkeeper of Spain hockey team during the 1968 Mexico Olympics.
Asked whether he will be meeting the Bengal Hockey Federation President JB Roy, who is against the formation of Hockey India, during his current visit, Negre said, "I am ready to meet anyone, I am very open but till now I don't have any appointment with him."
Although Sahara has written a letter to him to intervene in the on-going logo tussle between the corporate group and the national federation, Negre refused to poke his nose in the matter saying, "I don't like to interfere in internal matters."