Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced that Odisha will host the Junior Men’s World Cup Hockey at Kalinga Stadium.
In a function organised at Convention Centre in Lokseva Bhawan, the Chief Minister announced, “I am happy to announce that Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, will be hosting the FIH Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup from November 24 to December 5, 2021.”
The Chief Minister also launched the Logo of the Junior World Cup event and unveiled the Trophy.
This international event will feature 16 countries – India, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, Belgium, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, USA, Canada, Chile and Argentina.
Announcing this Mr Patnaik wished that the Indian Team would put up a scintillating performance for the upcoming World Cup. The Chief Minister said in the last edition, the Indian Junior team had won the world cup. As the reigning champions, he said, he is sure that ‘’our team will take advantage of the home ground and emerge victorious again. ‘’
He said the state is ready to host such a big event for the sake of the country’s prestige.
He said, “Recently, Hockey India has approached us to support them for the Men’s Junior World Cup which is to be held in two months’ time. It’s short notice for making arrangements for such an event, especially during the pandemic period. Since the nation’s prestige is at stake, we have readily agreed to support.”
He further said,’Hockey has 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, he said that over the last decade the state has been working closely with Hockey India for the development of the game in the country. The state has sponsored the National teams since 2018. Odisha has 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 further said that these achievements brought great joy to people across the country. It was declared that the glory of Indian Hockey is back. There is a lot of excitement about the prospects of Indian hockey in the coming years. The Hockey World Cup in January 2023 will be a landmark event and provide further momentum for hockey development in the country.
Promising Odisha will continue supporting Indian Hockey, he said ‘’we will continue to be a part of this journey of Indian hockey. We have already announced that we will support the Indian national teams for another 10 years. We are also building India’s largest hockey stadium in Rourkela. We are creating astroturf based grassroots training program in the state’’, he added.
In his welcome address, Minister for Sports Tusharkanti Behera praised the visionary leadership of the Chief Minister for supporting sports in India. He said that Odisha is now a preferred destination in global hockey because of the State’s support of hockey.
FIH President Narinder Batra said Odisha has 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.
Padmashree Dilip Tirkey, Chairman of Odisha Hockey Promotion Council offered the vote of thanks.
Among others, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, Secretary General Hockey India Rajendra Singh, Secretary to CM (5-T) V.K. Pandian, Commissioner-cum-Secretary Sports Vineel Krishna and other dignitaries were present.