The 15th FIH Men's Hockey World Cup will begin on January 13, with Argentina and South Africa kicking things off at the Kalinga Stadium. The Hockey World Cup will be played in Kalinga Stadium and Birsa Munda Stadium in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela respectively from January 13 to 29. A total of 16 teams will compete with each other in the prestigious world tournament. 24 matches will be played in Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar while 20 matches will be held in Birsa Munda Stadium in Rourkela.
"Hockey World Cup will be held at two venues. The arrival of 16 teams from all over the world and India hosting the World Cup for the second time speaks a lot about itself. Same India which has won medals in the Olympics 6 times. Major Dhyan Chand has done the work of scoring a hat-trick in the World Cup. Odisha has also worked tirelessly in the field of hockey, has built new sports stadiums and organized events. All the teams have come here from every corner of the world, I welcome them. And I hope there will be a great game and performance," Anurag Thakur told ANI.
As hosts, India is fancied to finish on the podium and the expectations are far greater this time, particularly after the team's stupendous performance at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 where they ended a 41-year-long wait to stand on the podium again by bagging the bronze medal.
India are placed in Pool D against Spain, England and Wales. Earlier, Hockey India announced the 18-member team that will represent India at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela. The Indian team, which is in pool D with England, Spain, and Wales, will begin their campaign on January 13 in the newly built Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela against Spain, followed by their second pool D match against England.
They will travel to Bhubaneswar for their third pool match against Wales. The knockout stage will begin with crossover matches on January 22 and January 23, followed by quarterfinals on January 25 and semifinals on January 27. The Bronze Medal match and the Final will be held on January 29. (ANI)