Xtra Time Web Desk: FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar – Rourkela: revealed their 4 pools on Thursday. They have been determined as follows:
Pool A is headed up by current FIH World Rankings (WR) number one Australia, who got the bronze medal at the last World Cup in 2018. They will play 2016 Olympic Champions Argentina (WR:7), France (WR:11), playing their fourth World Cup, and African Champions South Africa (WR:14).
In Pool B, reigning World Champions Belgium (WR:2) are the top seed and they were drawn to face 2002 and 2006 World Champions Germany (WR:4). Both European teams will face two representatives from Asia, namely Korea (WR:12) and Japan (WR:17).
Pool C will feature the finalists from the last edition, the Netherlands (WR:3), at the head of the group. They will come up against the other Oceania’s representative New Zealand (WR:9), Malaysia (WR:10), playing their ninth World Cup, and newcomers Chile (WR:23), participating for the very first time in a FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup.
In Pool D, hosts India are the highest ranked side (WR:5). They will face England (WR:6), which they’ve recently met at the Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022 for a thrilling encounter (4-4), two-time silver medallists (1971, 1998) Spain (WR:8) and Wales (WR: 16), who, like Chile, will play their maiden World Cup.
As already announced, India, Australia, Belgium and Netherlands were placed on the first row of their corresponding Pools based on the FIH World Rankings as per 1 June 2022.
Hon’ble Chief Minister, Government of Odisha Shri Naveen Patnaik and FIH Acting President Seif Ahmed attended the draw ceremony, as well as Shri Tusharkanti Behera, Hon’ble Minister – Sports & Youth Services, Odisha, Dr S Y Quraishi, Member, CoA, Hockey India, Mr. Zafar Iqbal, Member, CoA, Hockey India, Shri Dilip Tirkey, Chairman, Hockey Promotion Council of Odisha, Shri Suresh Chandra Mahapatra, IAS, Chief Secretary & Chief Development Commissioner, Odisha, Shri V K Pandian, IAS, Secretary to Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri R Vineel Krishna, IAS, Commissioner cum Secretary, Department of Sports & Youth Services, Odisha, amongst other personalities. The draw proceedings were conducted by FIH CEO Thierry Weil.
Hon’ble Chief Minister, Government of Odisha Shri Naveen Patnaik said: “We are always very proud to welcoming the best hockey teams and players of the world for such an outstanding event. This time, the appetite is even bigger since, on top of our magnificent Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar – where so many wonderful sports stories have already been written – we are inviting the world to a brand-new arena, namely the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela. This new stadium is a further testimony of our strong commitment towards hockey. Congratulations and best wishes to all teams!”
FIH Acting President Seif Ahmed said: “We can’t wait to see the best teams in the world in action in the new “jewel” of hockey, the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela, which, alongside the iconic Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar, will play host to the 2023 FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup. I wish to renew our sincerest thanks to Hockey India and to the State of Odisha for hosting the 15th edition of this World Cup. With their commitment, experience and passion, you can expect nothing else but an amazing event coming our way in 4 months time! I wish already the very best of luck to all participating teams and officials, and invite all fans to tune in early next year: an unforgettable hockey show is awaiting you!”
Belgium are the current World Champions, having defeated the Netherlands in the Final of the 2018 edition.
The pinnacle of the FIH men’s tournaments will be held from 13 to 29 January 2023 in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, in the state of Odisha, India.
FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar at a glance:
Pool A: Australia, Argentina, France, South Africa
Pool B: Belgium, Germany, Korea, Japan
Pool C: Netherlands, New Zealand, Malaysia, Chile
Pool D: India, England, Spain, Wales