Countdown to Odisha Hockey World Cup begins

Bhubaneswar: With barely 99 days away for the Hockey World Cup, all eyes are set on the Kalinga Stadium where the mega sporting extravaganza is scheduled to kick off in November 28.

While the city is gearing up to host the  grand affair, promotion for the event is also on in full swing.

The state’s Sports and Youth Services Department, on Monday took to twitter with the message, “Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneshwar 2018 is just 100 days away as India gears up to host the incredible event for the third time in the competition’s history. Join us as we celebrate the countdown to hockey’s biggest event.”

Similarly, players of the men hockey team along with their women counterparts at the ongoing 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang 2018 campaigned for the mega quadrennial event with placards. Odisha’s Deepgrace Ekka, Birendra Lakra and Sunita Lakra – participants at the Asian Games promoted the world cup with ‘Bhubaneswar Chalo’ slogans on their placards.

Campaigning for the world cup is also pouring in from Ollywood with actor Sabyasachi Mishra actively promoting the event.

“16 countries will be participating in the Hockey World Cup and I personally welcome you all to come to Bhubaneswar,” said Sabyasachi.

Meanwhile, laying of turfs on the Kalinga Stadium has been completed and marking has been finished.

Seats at the east, north and south stands are being installed while the construction work at the VIP gallery is underway. The entrance gate of the stadium is being beautified. Works for two foot-overbridges near the stadium on Bidyut Marg is being carried out on war footing.

In view of the security and huge footfall expected during the event, the Commissionerate Police and the Fire Services department has urged the Sports department to make arrangements for shifting of the Biswakarma Temple near the stadium.

“The present location of the temple falls in the ‘Fire set-back’ area and therefore needs to be shifted,” a letter from the Deputy Fire Officer, Bhubaneswar said.

Reviewing the preparations, Twin City Police Commissioner Satyajit Mohanty said 70-80 platoons of police force will be deployed during the sporting event. Each team will have a PSO and security arrangements will be made as per protocol.

Sports Secretary Vishal Dev said “As a build up to the world cup, we are planning to organise brand name publicity and campaigns at as many as 17 major cities like state capitals and metropolitans across the country. We are planning to involve international celebrities for the same and during the opening and closing ceremonies. Through our attempts we want to showcase Odisha as a progressive, proactive and developing form of Odisha. Two camps will be conducted for the Indian Hockey team, the first being from September 16 to October 14 and second phase camp from November 1 to 17.

Since most people would not be able to witness the match inside the stadium, we have planned to set up huge LED screens at four places IDCO exhibition ground, janata maidan, Adivasi ground, Baramunda so that spectators can watch and enjoy the matches,” Dev said.