Bhubaneswar, Feb 7:
The Odisha government on Tuesday decided to boost infrastructure and other facilities at Kalinga Stadium here to successfully host the Hockey World Cup in 2018.
A preparatory meeting was held under the chairmanship of chief secretary AP Padhi to discuss the detailed programme and work plan for the world class event.
The matches are scheduled to be played in November and December next year. A total of 16 teams will participate.
Padhi advised showcasing Odisha and its potential in the fields of tourism, culture and sports development during the event.
“The meeting has in principle decided to organise the hockey world cup. The final and official announcement for the event would be done by Hockey India League. The state government will provide all support and assistance for the successful organisation of this international event,” said the chief secretary.
In the meeting, it was decided that the beautification work at Kalinga Stadium will start soon as it will host most of the matches during the three-week event.
“This for the third time that India is going to organise the prestigious World Cup and Odisha is proud of getting the chance to host it at Bhubaneswar. We will soon make the detailed programme and work plan for meeting the requirements like transport, hotel accommodation, stadium development, security arrangements and execute them as per the timeline,” said sports secretary Vishal Dev.
India had hosted the Hockey World Cup twice – first in 1982 at Mumbai and then at Delhi in 2010.
Hockey India CEO Elena Norman, who was also present at the meeting, said the stadium infrastructure will be developed as more matches are being played here.
“We are ready to host any tournament as the overall infrastructure is really good as of now. And, we will develop it as we conduct more matches here,” the CEO added.
Bhubaneswar has already successfully hosted the eight-nation Champions Trophy men’s hockey tournament in 2014.
Around 1000 players from 16 nations will participate in the World Cup. Around 20,000 fans, relatives and associates of the players and officials from various countries are expected to reach Bhubaneswar to witness the event, said sources. (IANS)