Representative Image (Image: Hockey India)
Representative Image (Image: Hockey India)

Hockey Junior World Cup in Bhubaneswar to be played without spectators

ANI | Updated: Oct 26, 2021 18:26 IST

New Delhi [India], October 26 (ANI): The FIH Odisha men's Hockey Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021 scheduled to begin on November 24, will be a telecast-only affair as Hockey India and FIH jointly decided to hold the marquee quadrennial tournament without the presence of spectators as part of precautions against COVID-19.
"With the sheer popularity of the sport in this region and expected crowds in the stadium, the organisers believe it would not be possible to control that number of people and yet follow all the necessary COVID guidelines and protocols laid out by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, State Government, FIH and Hockey India," Hockey India said in a statement.
According to organisers, social distancing is a priority due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation and the safety of the fans and athletes needs to be prioritised.
Hockey India said for the organisers, it is imperative to hold the tournament in an environment where the health and safety of the participating teams are of paramount importance.
While the stadium will only be open to accredited personnel and the participants of the tournament, the fans can tune in and cheer for their favourite teams and players, across platforms around the world for all games.
The FIH Odisha men's Hockey Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021 will see 16 teams in the fray.
The participating teams include defending champions and hosts India, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Egypt, France, Germany, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, Spain, The Netherlands and the United States.
After five days of pool stage matches, the classification matches will be held from November 30 with the quarter-finals to be played on December 1, semi-finals on December 3 and the title clash will be held on December 5. (ANI)