India’s promise to generate more than two and half times the profit of the closest rival bid guaranteed they got the 2023 World Cup. Australia, Spain and Germany are thought to have pulled out of the running on announcement of India’s bid. India promised the International Federation of Hockey (FIH) 3.5 million Swiss France while , the reigning World champions, Belgium could only offer 1 million SF. Malaysia would only offer transport costs.
The decision is controversial for a number of reasons. 2023 would make India hosts, twice in a row. The FIH has been criticized for not doing enough to promote the sport globally. FIH, however, argued to grow the sport, it was imperative to make investments. “The primary mission of any International Federation is to grow the sport worldwide. This of course requires to make investments. Therefore, financials do matter indeed, and not only for hockey. A World Cup usually is a major driver to generate income,” the spokesperson said.
“The income-generation potential of each bid has played an important role in the decision,” FIH chief Thierry Weil had said in a statement.
India are likely to spend millions more than the profit suggested with some figures bandied about in the region of $55 million US. The Odisha government had invested close to that figure to host the 2018 edition.
it was announced in the last week of November that the 2023 cup will be held in two cities in the eastern state of Odisha.
The first city, Bhubaneswar, who hosted all matches in 2018 is of cultural importance to East India and is often known as ‘Temple City’ according to Wikipedia. Hockey India has added Rourkela, The industrial ‘steel’ city as the second venue. Sundargarh district is known as the cradle of hockey and its largest city Rourkela.
Rourkela is a hockey hot bed in India but has never hosted a national or international tournament in any sport.
Hosting the World Cup matches there, however, could become a logistical nightmare for the involved teams as the two cities are almost 350 km apart and at the moment, the only option to travel from Bhubaneswar to Rourkela is by road. However, there are ongoing talks to expand the small VIP airport to the public and to introduce commercial flights between the two cities. Ga,es would be played at the Biju Patnaik Hockey Stadium which the Government has promised to refurbish for the tournament. The pitch of Astro Turf with nylon grass for national and international level hockey matches and practice sessions has hosted the best players in India. it has adequate space for laying of another astro-turf for practice sessions.SHA coach and former junior international player Peter Tirkey said,
It would be a great honour and opportunity for the district.
Another controversial issue has been past problems with teams suffering from sanitation and health issues in Bhubaneswar, The Government, is trying to tackle the problems and oversaw the inauguration of a 36 Million Litres per Day (MLD) Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) was held at Bidanosi. The objective of the Project is to construct sewerage and drainage facilities thereby improving sanitary conditions of the residents including the underprivileged in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack cities, and improving water quality of surrounded rivers.
Hockey icon and Chairman of Hockey Promotion Council Dilip Tirkey said it will be a historic opportunity for Rourkela and his home district to host matches of the showpiece event. Thanking Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for the opportunity, Tirkey said it would prove to be a force multiplier for further quantitative and qualitative development of hockey in the nursery of Sundargarh as budding hockey trainees and rural players would be highly inspired and encouraged by watching live games.