Cassian Baliarsingh

After travelling across 13 states and one union territory, the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 finally reached Bhubaneswar on December 25. The trophy reached Odisha after travelling across the states for over 21 days. 

The Trophy was received by Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey and Odisha sports and youth services Minister Tusharkanti Behera at Biju Patnaik Airport in Bhubaneswar. Later, it was handed over to Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC). 

BMC Mayor Sulochana Das and the Commissioner welcomed the Trophy with much fanfare amidst dance and dhols, culture and tradition of Odisha. The Trophy will soon be taken to Lingaraj Temple and then to Esplanade (mall) for display before touring across schools and educational institutions. 

Later, the World Cup Trophy will tour across all districts in the state before being taken to Sundargarh district, the ‘cradle of Indian Hockey’. The trophy will visit 17 blocks of the district and will end in Rourkela before finally returning to the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar where the finals will be played on January 29, 2023. 

Speaking to OTV, Hockey India President, Dilip Tirkey said, “The trophy after touring across India, has finally reached Bhubaneswar. From tomorrow, the trophy will be taken across various districts in the state. Our effort is to spread and create enthusiasm among the youths for the sport.”

“I thank Odisha for welcoming the Trophy in such a grand manner. The 2018 Hockey World Cup was a grand success. This time too, efforts are on to make it much bigger and greater. Just a few days are left, and I welcome all the players and hockey lovers to give more love to the sport,” he added.

Speaking about Covid-19 preparations, Tirkey said, “The news of the spread of Omicron variant is coming from everywhere. As of now, no guidelines have been framed. All guidelines will be followed as per the Centre and the Odisha government’s directions during the World Cup.”

Notably, the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 will begin on January 13.