New Delhi, January 13 (IANS): With exactly two years to go, Hockey India and the Odisha government are gearing up to host the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup. In 2023, India will host the competition for a record fourth time since its inception in 1971. The tournament is slated to be held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela from January 13 to 29, 2023.
When India hosted the 14th edition of the World Cup in 2018, all the matches of the competition were held at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar, but two venues will be utilised for the 2023 event.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, on December 24 last year, announced a new world-class stadium to be constructed in Rourkela city which would be the biggest stadium for hockey in the country with a sitting capacity of 20,000.
The stadium is set to have all the modern facilities and will offer a unique experience to players and the fans during the 2023 World Cup. The work to develop synthetic hockey turf in each of the 17 blocks of Sundargarh district has already begun.
“It will be a challenge and an opportunity for us to organize the 2023 World Cup in two venues – Bhubaneswar and Rourkela. Since the World Cup in 2018 was held at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar, most of the arrangements are in place in Bhubaneswar, while a new world-class Hockey stadium is being built in Rourkela,” said Minister for Sports and Youth Services, Odisha Tusharkanti Behera.
“World-class infrastructure at both venues will enable Odisha to once again deliver a successful and memorable tournament and leave behind a valuable and lasting legacy,” he added.
The 2023 World Cup being hosted in India holds great significance since the country will be completing 75 years of independence that year.
The host federation Hockey India did not want to miss out on the opportunity to showcase the growth of the sport in the country in this landmark year and give the country another reason to celebrate 75 years of independence.
Speaking on the preparations for the World Cup, Hockey India president Gyanendro Ningombam said: “It’s an absolute honour for us to host the Men’s Hockey World Cups back-to-back. After hosting a successful World Cup in 2018, we are going to ensure that the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup in 2023 will have even better facilities for the players and the fans. It’s very exciting to note that we are exactly two years away from the 2023 World Cup.”