Odisha to host FIH Junior Men's Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar in November

Published : September 24, 2021 07:55 IST

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik (right) with FIH president Narinder Batra during the funciton to unveil the trophy and launch the logo of the junior world cup event, in Bhubaneswar on September 23. Photo: PTI

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced on September 23 that Odisha will host the Junior Men’s World Cup Hockey at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar from November 24 to December 5. The event will see 16 countries taking part—India, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, Belgium, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the United States, Canada, Chile and Argentina.

In a function organised at the Convention Centre in Lok Seva Bhawan in Bhubaneswar, Naveen Patnaik launched the logo of the junior world cup event and unveiled the trophy. The Chief Minister also wished the Indian team for the upcoming world cup. In the last edition, the Indian junior team had won the world cup, he said, while expressing hope that the reigning champions will take advantage of home ground and emerge victorious again.

He said: “Recently, Hockey India approached us to support them for the Men’s Junior World Cup which is to be held in two months’ time. It’s a short notice for making the arrangements for such an event, especially during the pandemic period. Since the nation’s prestige is at stake, we have readily agreed to support.”

The Chief Minister said that hockey had a special place among sports in Odisha. “Hockey players from our state led the country in many international tournaments.”

Describing Odisha’s engagement with Hockey India, Patnaik said that over the last decade, his government had been working closely with Hockey India for the development of hockey in the country. “We have sponsored the national teams since 2018. We have been the host for major tournaments including the Hockey World Cup. All these efforts have led to the historic success of the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams at the recent Tokyo Olympics,” he observed.

These achievements, he said, had brought great joy to people across the country. “It was declared that the glory of Indian hockey is back. There is lot of excitement about the prospects of Indian hockey in coming years. The Hockey World Cup in January 2023 will be landmark event and provide further momentum for hockey development in the country.”

Naveen Patnaik reiterated that the State government had already announced support for the Indian national teams for another 10 years. “We are also building India’s largest hockey stadium in Rourkela. We are creating astro-turf based grassroots training programme in the State,” he added.

Narinder Batra, president, International Hockey Federation, said that Odisha had set a new benchmark for hockey and showcased Odisha’s capability in organising global sports events. He added that the iconic Kalinga Stadium is now the world’s best stadium.

Dilip Tirkey, chairman, Odisha Hockey Promotion Council, and senior Odisha government officials were present on the occasion.

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