Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Hosts India have been placed in Group D along with England, Spain and Wales in the Hockey World Cup scheduled to be played at Bhubaneshwar and Rourkela from 13 to 29 January 2023.
The draw for the Hockey World was unveiled at the Convention Centre, in Lok Sewa Bhawan, Bhubaneshwar on Thursday in the presence of Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, FIH Acting President Seif Ahmed and CEO Thierry Weil who conducted the proceedings .
The event commenced with Mr. Naveen Patnaik announcing that India is placed in group D.
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.
Pool A is headed by current FIH World Rankings (WR) number one Australia, who got the bronze medal at the last World Cup . 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 teams from Asia, 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 medalists (1971, 1998) Spain (WR:8) and Wales (WR: 16), who, like Chile, will play their maiden World Cup.
Speaking on the occasion the chief minister 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!”
Other present at the draw ceremony included state sports minister Tusharkanti Behera, Members, CoA, Hockey India, S Y Quraishi, Zafar Iqbal, chairman, Hockey Promotion Council of Odisha Dilip Tirkey,
Belgium is the current World Champions, having defeated the Netherlands in the Final of the 2018 edition.
FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar
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.