Hockey is back in Bhubaneshwar. The Kalinga Stadium will host the hockey Men's Junior World Cup from November 24 to December 5.
The announcement was made in Bhubaneswar on Thursday by the Honorable Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik. The announcement was made in the presence of Minister for Sports and Youth Services, Government of Odisha, Shri Tusharkanti Behera, FIH President Narinder Dhruv Batra and Hockey India Secretary General Rajinder Singh.
It is the second marquee event to be played at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar after the 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup.
The Junior Hockey World Cup will feature 16 teams: India, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, Belgium, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, USA, Canada, Chile and Argentina.
Australia has pulled out of the event citing COVID-19 restrictions.
Odisha is also gearing up to host the 2023 FIH Men's Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela. The Chief Minister also launched the logo for the Hockey Junior World Cup. Speaking at the announcement, Naveen Patnaik said:
"Odisha is the hub for hockey in the country and the Odisha State Government will continue to do everything in our capacity to help the sport grow further and achieve further laurels on the world level.
'We look forward to welcoming 16 top teams from across the world to participate in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021. We are delighted to be hosts of this prestigious tournament. Our priority will be to ensure a safe environment to compete during these challenging times."
World-class hockey infrastructure
Narinder Dhruv Batra, president of the FIH, said the world class infrastructure available will help the event and keep the sport in good stead. He explained:
"The FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021 is the pinnacle of tournaments for U-21 and is a very important fixture in the FIH calendar. We are delighted that Odisha and their world-class infrastructure are set to host an event of this magnitude. As always, we have been extended full support by the Odisha State Government and the event will be held following all required COVID-19 protocols.”
Hockey India Secretary General Rajinder Singh said it was a matter of great honor for Hockey India to host back-to-back Junior World Cups.