Rourkela: After the stupendous success of Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup in 2018 and the scale at which it was hosted, FIH had announced last year that the 2023 FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup will be hosted in Odisha, for a second consecutive time, at two venues, Bhubaneswar and Rourkela.
After the Olympics, the World Cup is the most important tournament in hockey and there is already excitement galore amongst hockey lovers especially from Sundergarh and Rourkela region.
The steel city of Rourkela in Sundergarh district of Odisha, is gearing up to host the tournament at a scale equal to the 2018 edition if not better and for this, Minister for Sports and Youth Services, Odisha, Tusharkanti Behera, Chief Secretary, Odisha, Asit Kumar Tripathy, International Hockey Federation (FIH), President, Narinder Dhruv Batra, senior officials from State Department of Sports and Youth Services (DSYS), Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Odisha (IDCO), Hockey India (HI) and Sundergarh and Rourkela administration convened to review, assess and lay the road map and systematically plan subsequent actions at the core of which lies sports infrastructure development as per FIH standards and urban development involving large scale upgradation of Rourkela city.
Behera is confident that Odisha will host a “successful and memorable” tournament.
“The FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup India 2023 is expected to be even larger than 2018 and with matches to be hosted in two venues, it will be a challenge and an opportunity. Bhubaneswar having hosted the World Cup recently has most of the arrangements in place. Rourkela, a planned and developed urban city, will go through large scale upgradation. World-class infrastructure at both the venues will enable Odisha to once again deliver a successful and memorable tournament and leave behind a valuable and lasting legacy.
“We will create all necessary arrangements to host players, officials, sports enthusiasts from around the world, and give them a memorable experience. Like Bhubaneswar, Rourkela will aim to leave the sports fraternity in awe. We are aiming to complete all works by mid-2022,” Behera said in a statement.
Asit Kumar Tripathy, said, “Odisha Government left no stone unturned to make 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup a truly international experience and in 2023 too, it will excel in its execution and all stakeholders are collectively working towards it. The state has been in the forefront of sports promotion, and the development work in Rourkela and Sundergarh, will redefine the sports landscape in this region.”
Shedding light on the preparation ahead of the event, FIH President, Batra said, “The FIH World Cup, either for men or for women, is the flagship event of hockey’s world governing body. Therefore, it is essential that all operational matters are conducted in a state-of-the-art way, so that athletes and fans can enjoy a thrilling time! Furthermore, it’s important for the development of our sport to extend the number of venues around the world to be able to welcome such a competition. I’m really pleased with the commitment of the public authorities of Rourkela, which I’d like to thank wholeheartedly, and I’m convinced it will be a great venue for the FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup India 2023!”
Stating that the infrastructure work is on schedule to host the FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup, Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam said, “A delegation of senior officials from Hockey India made the visit to Rourkela where they joined officials from the Odisha State Government to access the infrastructure work being carried out in the Steel City ahead of the FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup India 2023. During this visit, the officials took note of the stadium and airport upgradation work being carried out as well as a review of the medical and accommodation facilities. The delegation also took note of the traffic, security and local transportation facilities between Bhubaneswar to Rourkela. The work is being expedited with an aim to ensure the FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup, India 2023 too is a mega success.”
As a build-up to the event, DSYS has commenced the process of laying 16 synthetic turfs in 16 blocks of Sundergarh. Work is already under progress in Bhawanipur adding to the momentum. Work that was stalled amidst the Covid-19 pandemic has resumed in adherence to guidelines laid down. (ANI)