Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Belgium player Elliot van Strydonck has stunned one and all with his controversial comment about the hosting of Men’s Hockey World Cup. Strydonck, recently during an interview, alleged that India managed to host the Hockey World Cup for the third time in the last four editions due to ‘power of money'.

Currently, Bhubaneswar and Rourkela are hosting the ongoing FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023. Earlier, India hosted the Hockey World Cup in 2018 (Bhubaneswar) and 2010 (New Delhi) as well.

During a recent interview to a Belgian newspaper, Strydonck, who won 2016 Olympics silver with Belgium, said, “The power of money. Belgians know India and its obligations well. They must be careful with water and food. They have their routine. It is regrettable that India still hosts such an event. But India is the only country that can fill stadiums with 20,000 seats every day. The atmosphere is guaranteed.”

“It is the only nation that can count on global sponsors like Hero or Odisha. The choice makes sense financially, but unfair to sporting fairness. The Red Lions have won everything in four years. However, the media coverage of hockey remains too limited here,” he added.

Notably, Belgium has not complained against India for the first time. Earlier in 2021, Hockey Belgium had expressed disappointment after India made a clean sweep in the FIH Awards based on the voting system.