It’s official: Hockey Men’s World Cup returns to Odisha in 2023; Rourkela added as the host city
Bhubaneshwar hosted the 2018 edition of the men’s marquee tournament where Belgium was crowned champions.
The 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup will be held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced on November 27. The announcement was made by the chief minister to mark the one year anniversary of the 2018 Hockey Men’s World cup which was hosted by Odisha. Odisha will be hosting the Men’s Hockey World Cup second consecutive time after the country was selected to stage the game’s showpiece event by International Hockey Federation(FIH).
The announcement was made in the presence of dignitaries including Honourable Sports Minister, Government of Odisha Mr Tusharkanti Behera, Development Commission-cum-Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Odisha Mr Suresh Chandra Mahapatra, FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, Hockey India President Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, Chairman of Hockey Promotion Council Padma Shri Dr Dilip Tirkey, Secretary-cum-Commissioner, Department of Sports & Youth Services, Government of Odisha Mr Vishal Kumar Dev, and Director, Department of Sports & Youth Services, Government of Odisha Mr R Vineel Krishna.
“We have always had a very passionate crowd which supports the sport of hockey, and with the presence of world-class, top-of-the-line facilities I would like to announce that the 2023 Hockey World Cup will again be held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela. Are you happy? I am happy,” Patnaik said while addressing the crowd at the Kalinga Stadium at the showpiece event.
The state capital is also one of the venues for the 2020 FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup.
Thierry Weil, CEO, FIH stated: “We are glad to come back to Odisha where everyone, from the fans to the teams and the officials, had such a great experience a year ago. Conscious of the costs generated by the organization of such world events, we think that using existing facilities especially when they are of the quality of those provided in Bhubaneswar is a real advantage”.
The Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar has become a hockey hub in India and has hosted a majority of the sports events most recent being the Olympic Qualifiers to go with the FIH series finals. The state continues to be the main centre for hockey as it has been the host venue for most of the home matches of India in the 2020 hockey Pro League whose next edition will be held January 11 and June 28.
The competition format of the 2023 FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup will be the same as in 2018, which received an overwhelming response at the Kalinga Stadium in Odisha.
The tournament will be held from 13 to 29 January.
India was among the three countries to represent them for hosting the next edition of men’s world cup. Belgium and Malaysia were the other two nations to represent themselves for conducting the men’s world cup. On the occasion of its last meeting of the year in Lausanne, the Executive Board of the International Hockey Federation had selected India to host the 2023 FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup (13-29 January 2023) and Spain and the Netherlands to co-host the 2022 FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup (1-17 July 2022).
Biju Patnaik Hockey Stadium in Rourkela is the other venue where matches will be played in 2023 as India becomes the first country to host successive editions of the tournament. “World Cup is the pinnacle of tournaments in hockey for the FIH. It needs to have a certain standard and, at present, only Bhubaneswar and Delhi have facilities up to that,” IOA and FIH president Narinder Batra said. “Now Rourkela also has it, it only needs to be upgraded. Delhi is not possible because the stadium is completely occupied by the Union Home Ministry and severely restricting government rules.”
The inclusion of Rourkela as co-host city came as a surprise which is about 330 Km away from Bhubaneswar with accessibility and logistics being the main challenge. But according to Odisha Government, we have three years to work on infrastructure and other facilities besides we have a stadium of seating capacity of 20000 which belongs to Rourkela Steel Plant which will be upgraded to FIH standards. On the occasion, a hockey High-Performance Centre too was announced with hockey India and Odisha Government as partners.