Odisha may host junior hockey World Cup
The last two junior World Cups were also held in India—2013 New Delhi and 2016 Lucknow—but there has been no update from the international hockey federation (FIH) about the next one.Updated: Jan 25, 2020 12:26 IST
After announcing that Bhubaneswar will become the first city to host two back-to-back men’s hockey World Cups—2018 and 2023, the Odisha capital could well be in line to host the men’s junior World Cup as well. “There is a possibility (of Bhubaneswar hosting the junior World Cup). Everything is in the pipeline. We are now trying to bring many events to Odisha,” Odisha sports minister Tusharkanti Behera said.
The last two junior World Cups were also held in India—2013 New Delhi and 2016 Lucknow—but there has been no update from the international hockey federation (FIH) about the next one. The FIH had announced in December 2018 that their intention is to host the junior event every two years to “give every generation a chance to participate in the junior World Cup”. “If we don’t, we lose a generation of players,” FIH CEO Thierry Weil had said then.
Responding to a query from HT, the FIH said: “FIH can confirm that the FIH Junior World Cup will be held every two years, with the next edition planned for 2021. A decision on the future hosts has not been taken yet.”
If the junior tournament is held in 2021, the gap of five years will cost more than a generation of players who will not be able to participate in the top youth event.
The Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar has organised several international sports events in the last few years. Apart from the marquee hockey World Cup in 2018, the state also has also organised the Pro League, Olympic qualifiers, World League and Champions Trophy.
It also hosted the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships while the 2019 Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships was held in neighbouring Cuttack. Bhubaneswar will also be one of the four cities, along with Kolkata, Guwahati and Ahmedabad, that will host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in November.