Rourkela: The steel city in Odisha’s Sundargarh district is gearing up for the 2023 FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup, which will be staged in Rourkela and Bhubaneswar.
To review and assess preparation, and systematically plan subsequent action, International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Narinder Batra visited the Rourkela venue along with Odisha’s Minister for Sports and Youth Services Tusharkanti Behera, Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy, senior officials from state department of Sports and Youth Services (DSYS), Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Odisha (IDCO), Hockey India (HI) and Sundargarh and Rourkela administration.
Expressing satisfaction with the way Rourkela is preparing for the Hockey World Cup – which Odisha had hosted successfully in 2018 also – Batra said, “I’m really pleased with the commitment of the public authorities of Rourkela, which I’d like to thank wholeheartedly… I’m convinced it will be a great venue for the FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup India 2023.”
Batra said since the World Cup is the flagship event of hockey’s world governing body, it’s essential to ensure state-of-the-art facilities so that players and fans can have 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,” said Batra.
The sports minister said that a large-scale upgradation of facilities and infrastructure is being planned in Rourkela city.
“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,” Behera said.
“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,” the minister added.
Chief Secretary Tripathy also assured that the state government will go all out to make the tournament a grand success.
“The Odisha government left no stone unturned to make the 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup a truly international experience and in 2023, too, it will excel in its execution and all stake holders are collectively working towards it. The state has been in the forefront of sports promotion, and the development work in Rourkela and Sundargarh, will redefine the sports landscape in this region,” he said.
DSYS has started the process of laying 16 synthetic turfs in 16 blocks of Sundargarh. Work that was stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic has resumed in adherence to guidelines laid down by the state and Union governments.