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International hockey returns to Odisha as Bhubaneswar readies for FIH Pro League 2023-24

Published at :February 1, 2024 at 7:37 PM
Modified at :February 3, 2024 at 7:08 PM
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(Courtesy : Hockey India)

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Women’s leg commences from 3rd February

Excitement amongst fans mounts as International hockey is set to return to Odisha. The state, which has emerged as a global hub of hockey,  is gearing up to host the FIH Pro League 2023-24 Bhubaneswar and Rourkela legs, scheduled to take place between 3 and 25 February at Kalinga Stadium and Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium.

With just two days to go for the much-awaited FIH Pro League, the women’s teams of China, USA, Netherlands and Australia have arrived in Bhubaneswar and are undergoing their final preparations.

Sales of both online and offline tickets have also commenced and hockey fans are eagerly waiting to witness some great game of hockey and cheer for their favourite teams. Both Bhubaneswar and Rourkela which have emerged as hockey hubs of the state are engulfed in hockey fever. 

Sports and Youth Services Department is working closely with the different departments of the Government and Hockey India to ensure a memorable experience for teams and fans at both venues.  All aspects including infrastructure, safety, transport, accommodation, hospitality and the conduct of the event have been meticulously planned. 

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Speaking ahead of the event, Vineel Krishna, Secretary, the Sports and Youth Services Department said, “It is one year to the Hockey Men’s World Cup and it gives me immense pleasure that once again we will have an international hockey tournament at both our venues, Kalinga Hockey Stadium, Bhubaneswar and Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium, Rourkela.”

He further added, “The Women’s team will not only be making their comeback to the Pro League but will also make their debut in Rourkela. Meanwhile, for the Men’s team, these matches will be crucial in their preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympics. I’m confident that they will give their best and enthral the passionate hockey fans of Odisha. I also extend my warm welcome to the visiting teams, their players, officials and fans from across the globe. I’m sure they will have a memorable experience in Odisha.”

The mini-tournament will feature both the Indian Women’s and Men’s Hockey Teams. The Women’s Hockey Team led by Savita, will be making their comeback to the FIH Pro League. They will take on the USA, Netherlands, China and Australia at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar between February 3 to 9 followed by their debut at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela between 12 to 18 February.

The Men’s team, on the other hand, will face Netherlands, Spain, Australia and Ireland in their home matches from February 10 to 16 in Bhubaneswar. They will then shift to Rourkela for their return fixtures taking place between 19 to 25 February.

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