Bhubaneswar to host 2018 men's hockey world cup

The 2014 Champions Trophy was the first major tournament to be held outside Delhi as part of Hockey India’s attempts to spread the game across the country.

Bhubaneswar to host 2018 Hockey World Cup.

A Hockey India League (HIL) match being played at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneswar.   -  Lingaraj Panda

After the 2014 Champions Trophy, Bhubaneswar would host another high-profile hockey event in 2018 with the city finalized for the 2018 Men’s World Cup. The decision was taken by Hockey India about a month ago.

However, with the state government keen on making a formal announcement on a grand scale, the federation has delayed an official confirmation of the news. The 2014 Champions Trophy was the first major tournament to be held outside Delhi as part of Hockey India’s attempts to spread the game across the country.

“It is finalized. There were talks with Tamil Nadu government as well but now Bhubaneswar has been finalized,” a Hockey India official confirmed after Saturday’s Annual General Meeting in Jaipur. Bhubaneswar would also be hosting the Hockey World League Finals in 2017. The AGM, meanwhile, also ratified and amended certain provisions in the Hockey India constitution to make it more in line with those of the International Hockey Federation (FIH). One of the most important changes is the drastic reduction in the number of members in the Executive Board of the federation.

While the current EB has 27 members, the revamped one would have only 13. “The FIH has made it clear that it is not interested in local politics and would prefer the national body having a small executive board to take decisions. At the same time, the CEO would also now be a voting member of the board with more powers of decision making, even though the post itself would remain a nominated one,” the senior official said.

The changes have been made keeping in mind the fact that Hockey India president Narinder Batra has filed to contest for FIH president’s post and HI is keen to ensure that there are no technical issue that might lead to a disqualification. “There were also certain positions that were nominated to by the presidents at both state and national levels. We have now amended that to say ‘approved and ratified by the EB’ to give them further sanctity,” he added.

However, a decision on HI elections in case Batra gets elected to the FIH has been postponed with the federation believing that such an action would be presumptive and should be taken only after the election process is over in November.