A positive response from the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to the draft Constitution for Hockey India and an election timeline has lifted the storm clouds and cleared the decks for the Men’s FIH Hockey World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela in January 2023.
Hockey India was, just like the All India Football Federation (AIFF), facing the threat of suspension from FIH for alleged third-party intervention in the governance of the sport in the country.
While the AIFF has been suspended by FIFA, putting the U-17 Women’s World Cup scheduled to be held in India in October in a limbo, Hockey India survived the threat as the FIH delegation accepted the principal changes in the draft Constitution, gave the Committee of Administrators (CoA) 10 days to submit the approved Constitution, and set a deadline of October 28 to complete the election process.
Even while the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teas were fighting for medals at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham few days back, many Indian fans were worried over the future of the teams, considering the governance mess in the sport in the country.
Any suspension of Hockey India would have had an impact on the 2023 Men’s World Cup. But with the FIH delegation setting a new deadline and the CoA in a position to meet the same, the organisers of the World Cup can now heave a sigh of relief.
Thus the World Cup can go ahead as per schedule from January 13-29, 2023 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar and the Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium in Rourkela, which is under construction.