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FIH, Hockey India inspect Birsa Munda stadium months before World Cup

By Pti

Rourkela, Sept. 7: A high-level team of hockey officials visited the under-construction stadium in Odisha's Rourkela on Wednesday to take stock of the situation ahead of the men's world cup next year.

The team, comprising members of the International Hockey Federation or the FIH and Hockey India, expressed satisfaction with the progress of work at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium.

They also inaugurated a practice centre in the complex of the country's largest hockey stadium and inspected the activities going on at Rourkela Airport, which will be used as a transit hub for the players, staff and others.

Odisha Sports secretary Vineel Krisha presented the status of the ongoing projects, connectivity, accommodation and beautification projects. FIH acting president Seif Ahmed congratulated Odisha and Hockey India for the work that they had done.

"What we've seen today is fantastic, amazing," Ahmed said at a press briefing, hoping to have a very good world cup in Rourkela and Bhubaneswar. FIH chief executive officer Thierry Weil said it would be the largest hockey stadium in India and, most probably, in the world. The stadium in western Odisha's Sundargarh district can accommodate 20,000 spectators.

The 35-acre site includes the stadium and accommodation inside the 120-acre campus of the Biju Patnaik University of Technology. S Y Quraishi, a member of the committee of administrators that is currently running the sport in the country, said they were "extremely pleased" with the progress made in the project.

The former chief election commissioner acknowledged that anything happening in Odisha "is in safe hands", adding that everything was on track. The visit came a day before the scheduled draw of the Men's Hockey World Cup, which will be hosted jointly by Bhubaneswar and Rourkela from January 13-29.

The state is hosting the quadrennial event for the second time in a row after hosting it in Bhubaneswar in 2018.

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Story first published: Wednesday, September 7, 2022, 22:28 [IST]
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