Bhubaneswar: As Odisha gears up to host the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 starting November 28, 2018, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) event director Ms. Gabrielle van Zwieten arrived in Bhubaneswar on a two-day visit on Monday and reviewed the preparations at the Kalinga Stadium.
Accompanied by officials from the host federation Hockey India, Gabrielle held meetings with sports secretary Vishal K Dev and representatives from various departments and discussed the overall progress of work. The day-long proceedings also included the fifth executive committee meeting for the upcoming event chaired by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi.
On Tuesday, Gabrielle will visit the remaining facilities to complete her inspection visit and check the preparedness to host the International teams.
“I am delighted with the progress of work here at the Kalinga Stadium and I am quite confident the venue will be ready well within the stipulated time. The keenness of the Odisha government and Hockey India to deliver to perfection and leave no stone unturned in their preparations to host the biggest hockey event is worth a mention and I am confident the hockey fraternity will witness a spectacular event,” stated Gabrielle.
The infrastructural work at the Kalinga Stadium includes the up-gradation of seating capacity to 15,000. The stadium will also get two brand new pitches. The floodlights at both main pitch and the practice pitch too have been upgraded while the entire main stadium is being given a face-lift with wider roads, new gates and permanent CCTV cameras for safety point of view.
“Bhubaneswar is one of the best venues for hockey in the country today. It is not just the passion the people of Odisha have for the sport that makes us want to bring big international events here but it’s also the pro-activeness of the Odisha government in terms of providing world-class facilities to ensure visiting teams, officials, spectators from across the globe get the best experience. From Hockey India, we have made regular visits to Bhubaneswar and I am happy to note that the infrastructural work is on schedule,” stated Elena Norman, CEO, Hockey India.
Vishal K. Dev said, “We are all quite happy and satisfied with the ongoing preparations for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. In terms of infrastructure, apart from the new turf being laid at the hockey ground, we have upgraded the floodlights of both the practice and main pitch.”
“Our aim is to permeate the image of Odisha globally through the Hockey Men’s World Cup 2018. All the state departments are working together to expedite the same. We also have a number of campaigns lined up which begins from next month to create a buzz about the world cup nationwide,” Dev added.
A total of 36 matches will be played during the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. The opening match of the tournament will see World No. 3 Belgium take on World No. 11 Canada on November 28, 2018 while host nation India will also open their campaign on the same day as they face South Africa.