Odisha Sun Times Sports Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 6:
The FIH Hero Hockey Championship Hockey kicked off at Kalinga Stadium in the Odisha’s capital city here this morning.
Till reports last came in, England were leading by 2-0 goals against Australia in the first half.
The first goal was scored by Alastair Brogdon while the second goal was scored by Samual Ward.
The match began at 12 noon.
The second match of the day would start at 2 PM between Belgium and Pakistan followed by the third match at 5.30 PM between Netherlands and Argentina while the last match would be played between India and Germany at 7.30 PM.
A total of eight top teams in the world would vie for the title in the 35th edition of the Championship which will conclude on December 14.
The teams will be split into two pools of four teams.
While the Pool A features Australia, Belgium, England and Pakistan, the Pool B features Netherlands, Germany, Argentina and India.
During the pool stages, each team will play against each other once. While all the teams will play in the quarter-finals, their pool ranking will determine who they play.
There would be four matches to be played on the opening day.
To ensure the smooth conduct of the event, the commissionerate police have made elaborate security measures for the safety of the players.
As informed by Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrata Bhoi, 22 platoons of armed police forces have been deployed while four ACPs, two additional DCPs and 80 police officers would oversee security arrangements.
“We have made special security arrangements for the Pakistani players,” he added.
He also said to make the tournament more organized, several private security personnel and volunteers comprising college NCC cadets and athletes of sports hostels have been engaged in duty.
These volunteers would be deployed at the entrance gates and vehicle parking zones of the stadium to ensure smooth traffic movement.
“As the all tickets for the Championship has been sold out, we expect a large turnout of the spectators. Keeping this in view, more security personnel would be deployed inside the stadium premises”, Bhoi said.
The DCP also informed that as decided, the gate no-8 of the stadium has been earmarked for entry and exit of players, team officials and fire brigade teams.
While the gate no-2 will remain closed throughout the event, the four wheelers and two wheelers would be allowed to enter into the stadium premises through gate no-3 and 4 respectively.
For the East Stand of the stadium, the spectators would be allowed to enter through gate no- 5, 6, and 7 while permission would be given to the spectators to park their vehicles near gate no-9, he added.