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Odisha: Hockey Practice Centre in Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium inaugurated

Bhubaneswar, Sep 7 (IANS) With only a few months left for the Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023, a Hockey Practice Centre was inaugurated within the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium complex in Odisha’s Rourkela city on Wednesday.

A delegation of International Hockey Federation (FIH) including acting president Seif Ahmed and chief executive officer, Thierry Weil and a delegation of Hockey India including committee of administrators (CoA), S.Y. Quraishi and Zafar Iqbal visited Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium that will be co-hosting the World Cup.

During the visit, the dignitaries inaugurated the Hockey Practice Centre. The practice centre has brand new FIH certified turf, flood lights with seating capacity for 200 spectators. Amongst others, it also accommodates changing rooms, recovery area, fitness centre and allied facilities for players.

The high-level team has expressed their satisfaction with the progress of work and the support extended by Odisha towards the development of Hockey and is looking forward to hosting an iconic World Cup in Odisha’s Bhubaneswar and Rourkela.

The main stadium work is going in full swing and will be completed as per schedule, an Odisha government official said.

“What we have seen here today is fantastic and I would like to congratulate the Odisha government and Hockey India for the work they have done and we look forward to having a good world cup here and in Bhubaneswar,” said Seif Ahmed, acting president, FIH.

Odisha’s eagerness to be the perfect host, gives us the confidence that collectively, FIH, Hockey India and state government will yet again impress upon the hockey world, he said.

Member, CoA, Hockey India, S.Y. Quraishi, shared, “We are very pleased to come to Rourkela and visit the Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium. It is done extremely well and our co-host FIH is also very satisfied. When any event happens in Odisha, we know it is in safe hands. With great political leadership everything is on track and we will be creating history.”

Zafar Iqbal, another member of CoA, said, “India is hosting the Hockey Men’s World Cup for the fourth time and no other country has hosted the event this many times. The Odisha government is working to complete the project on time and host an iconic World Cup,” said Zafar.

Thanking the Odisha government for its support to Hockey, CEO, FIH, Thierry Weil, said, “This will be the largest hockey stadium in India and amongst the largest hockey stadiums in the world. We are extremely excited and proud to come here.”

“We look forward to coming to Rourkela in January and urge fans and media to support and make this world cup a big success, he added.

During the visit, Odisha sports secretary R. Vineel Krishna presented the status of the ongoing stadium projects as well as those related to connectivity, accommodation, upgradation and beautification projects.

The prestigious Men’s Hockey World Cup will be held in Rourkela and Bhubaneswar from January 13 to 29, 2023.

–IANS

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