Cuttack: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik this week inaugurated the FIH Hockey World Cup at Barabati Stadium here in presence of Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur.
Odisha Sports minister Tusharkanti Behera, senior officials of the state as well as FIH (International Hockey Federation) and Hockey India along with a 50,000 strong crowd attended the mega event.
Patnaik led the inaugural address of this global sporting Hockey carnival which is being held for the second successive time in Odisha by the Odisha government.
In his brief speech, the Chief Minister expressed his delight with the way that the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup has returned to Odisha. With the grand Celebrations lighting up the night sky, he officially welcomed hockey home.
Stating that Odisha is known for its hospitality, Patnaik said, “I am sure all the visitors will take a little part of Odisha with them to home.”
He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the union government for their all support in hosting the mega sporting event in the state.
Meanwhile, in a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his best wishes to all participating hockey teams for the tournament.
“As the 2023 Hockey World Cup commences in Odisha, my best wishes to all the participating teams. May this tournament further strengthen the spirit of sportsmanship and may it further popularise the beautiful game of Hockey. India is proud to be hosting this tournament,” tweeted Modi.
The World matches would be held at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar and Birsa Munda Stadium in Rourkela from January 13 to 29.