The FIH Hockey World Cup 2023 is all set to get underway in Odisha from January 13. This will be the 15th edition of the tournament, and the second consecutive World Cup in India.
Odisha has been the home of Indian hockey over the past decade. The state has hosted multiple international matches including the FIH Pro League games. The 2018 edition of the World Cup was also held in the state.
However, back then, only Bhubaneswar hosted the matches. For 2023, another stadium has been added in Rourkela to host the 16-team tournament.
Here is more about the two stadiums that will host the matches during the World Cup:
Built in 2010 with a capacity of 5,000 spectators, the Kalinga Hockey Stadium played host to the men’s Champions Trophy in 2014 and the Odisha Hockey World League final in 2017.
In preparation for the showpiece Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, the Kalinga Hockey Stadium underwent a huge transformation. An impressive refurbishment saw the construction of new stands to increase the capacity to 15,000, with both the stadium pitch and nearby practice pitches being re-laid.
Widely regarded as one of the finest hockey arenas anywhere in the world, it is a stadium perfectly suited to welcoming the world’s greatest teams and players. The stadium will host 24 of the 44 matches at this World Cup, including the showpiece final and bronze medal match.
India will play its last pool stage match against England in Bhubaneswar.
BIRSA MUNDA STADIUM
Named after the tribal leader and famous freedom fighter Birsa Munda, the Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium has been constructed especially for this event and is officially the largest hockey stadium in India.
It will host 20 out of the 44 matches being played in this competition. With a total capacity of 20,000, the State of Odisha is now blessed with two genuinely world class hockey arenas, complementing the already iconic Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
Following the completion of the FIH Men’s World Cup, the stadium will be used to host several of India’s matches in the FIH Pro League.
India will play its first two pool stage games - against Spain and Wales - in Rourkela.
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