The World Cup is coming back to Odisha.
A year after the state successfully hosted the 2018 FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup, the 2023 edition will return to Odisha.
The announcement was made at an event held at the Kalinga Stadium on Wednesday.
The World Cup will be co-hosted by Odisha cities Bhubaneswar and Rourkela from January 13 to 19, 2023.
The event was attended by FIH and Indian Olympic Association president Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, Hockey India president Md. Mushtaque Ahmed and the Indian men’s hockey team among many other dignitaries.
The 2018 World Cup saw spectators throng to the stadium in Bhubaneswar and make the event a big success.
The city of Rourkela, which shares hosting duties in 2023, is a hot-bed of the sport with hockey stars like Dilip Tirkey, Ignace Tirkey, Lazarus Barla and Birendra Lakra tracing their roots back to the region.
Commenting on the men’s World Cup heading back to Odisha, the FIH CEO Thierry Weil said: “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 organisation 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.”
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik too was excited to see the World Cup return to the state after having successfully hosted the 2018 event that saw 16 top teams vie for the title.
“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 in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, it swells my heart with great pride that Odisha will once again be celebrating the festival of hockey when we host the FIH Hockey Men's World Cup in January 2023,” he said.
Meanwhile, the chief minister also took the opportunity to announce the establishment of a state-of-the-art High Performance Centre in the Kalinga Complex apart from a slew of hockey developments in the state.