Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Bhubaneswar: The 68th All India Police Hockey Championship will commence on December 16 at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

As many as 500 players forming 25 teams including Odisha Police and Central Armed Police Forces from other States across India will be participating in the championship. Apart from this, as many as 200 officials and team coach will be present for the event.

As per reports, All India Police Sports Control Board is organizing the tournament in Bhubaneswar and all matches in the championship will be played at Kalinga Stadium.

The State Sports and Youth Service department has assured to lend all kinds of technical support and other services for the smooth conduct of the tournament. Furthermore, a committee including several senior police officials of Odisha has been formed for the purpose. Odisha government-accredited mascot 'Olly' has been declared as the official mascot for the tournament.

Newly appointed Odisha DGP Abhay unveiled mascot 'Olly' at the Curtain Raising Ceremony for the tournament on Sunday.

"All the matches will be played in league-cum-knockout basis. As Odisha Police team had managed to reach the 4th position last year, we are hopeful that the team will show better performance this time because the players will be playing amid their home-crowd," informed Inspector General, Soumendra Priyadarshi at a presser.

The tournament commencing on December 16 will end on December 24 with scheduled quarter-final and semi-final matches to be played from December 21 onwards.