The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has turned down former Indian captain Dilip Tirkey’s proposal for increasing the number of teams in next year’s World Cup.

Tirkey had written to FIH president Leandro Negre requesting him to increase the number of participating countries in next World Cup to be held in the Netherlands next year. Negre, however, said it is not possible for them.

“Your idea is in line with the FIH strategic plan and wishes. The FIH agree to increase the number of team nations participating in the World Cup final and in this line the FIH Executive Board took, some month ago, the decision to have 16 teams for the World Cup in 2018,” Negre said in his letter. “More than 130 countries are member countries of FIH. In the present format only 12 countries from different zones are selected to participate in the World Cup which is very less and that’s the reason I wrote to the world body,” Tirkey said.

“In football and Cricket the number of participants was increased gradually keeping in view the popularity of game,” he added.PTI