Hosts India are clubbed with Wales, Spain and England in pool D, as the FIH men’s hockey World Cup 2023 is set to take off in Odisha. In the first match of the championship Rio 2016 Olympic champions Argentina take South Africa at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday (January 13).
India is hosting the championship for the second consecutive time. The previous edition in 2018 was also held in India, where Belgium became the champion for the first time. India last won this tournament only once in the year 1975.
It is the fourth time the competition will be held in India, but in many aspects, it promises to be a one-of-a-kind event. From the organisational perspective, the world will witness the majestic Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium. Housing over 20,000 fans, it happens to be the world’s largest all-seater field hockey stadium.
The 2023 edition will have 16 teams taking part – divided into four groups of four teams each. The winner of each group will directly advance to the quarterfinal while the second and third placed teams from each group will play the crossover round and the winner will go through to the quarters.
World No. 1 Australia, in Pool A, are clubbed with Argentina and will play them on January 16.
Defending champions Belgium will face two-time champions Germany in Pool B. The two sides will meet on January 17. Pakistan, the most successful team at the hockey World Cup with four titles, failed to qualify for the 2023 edition.
Pool A: Australia, South Africa, France, Argentina
Pool B: Belgium, Japan, Korea, Germany
Pool C: Netherlands, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand
Pool D: India, Wales, Spain, England