Belgium Puts In Bid For 2013 Hockey Games

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“We have filed as of Thursday our bid at the European hockey association, and have received some very positive responses,” said communications chief Denis Van Damme at a press conference today.

The Belgian candidature theme is “Close To You” as many of the competing countries border Belgium.

“With the bid we say that Belgium is the centre of Europe,” added Van Damme.

“And if our country gets the tournament, we will have proved ourselves central in a European bid and also at the centre of the hockey world,” he said.

The tournament infrastructure using eight full-size pitches will be held within a range of 20 kilometres from the central host, Braxgata in Boom, close to the port city of Antwerp, the host of the 1924 Olympic hockey finals.

The main stadium is set to hold up to 8,000 fans, said Van Damme.

Other candidates are yet to be presented, but Germany using the Mönchengladbach arena is a possible favourite. The games will run between August 20-28, 2013.

In Braxgata’s favour Belgium will organize one of the three opening Olympic qualification tournaments in March 2012, before the Olympics in London later that year.

Observer says it therefore, remains a strong candidate for the European tournament a year later.