Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Hockey fever will grip the state capital again this year. Temple City Bhubaneswar is gearing up for the Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018 as a part of which a preparatory meeting was held at the State Secretariat today.

Officials of the State Sports department, Hockey India and International Hockey Federation (FIH) attended the meeting where different aspects related to the competition were discussed.

The infrastructure development of Kalinga Stadium is on in full swing. According to sources, the remaining construction work is expected to be completed within the scheduled time and the formalities of ground certification will be done in July. Proper arrangements of lodging and boarding for the players, support staff and officials have also been made.

“The preparations at the stadium are right on track. I think this will be a world class venue for hockey. The practice matches will be played in the month of September and October before the tournament. We are satisfied with all the arrangements made.” FIH president, Narinder Dhruv Batra said.

“Hockey India and FIH authorities have expressed their satisfaction and we are expecting the pitch certification in July after installation of new turf,” said Odisha Sports department secretary, Vishal Dev.

“Our focus is not only on hockey rather we want to promote Odisha’s culture and tourism during the course of the tournament. Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and the State Tourism department will organise food and film festivals during the World Cup,” Dev further added.

Earlier last week, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the online ticket sale for the tournament.

Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018, the biggest hockey tournament involving 16 top teams will begin from November 28 till December 16 at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.