Men’s FIH World Cup 2023 hockey groups: India drawn in Pool D with England, Spain and Wales

Defending champions Belgium are in Pool B with two-time champions Germany. World No. 1 Australia clubbed with Argentina in Pool A.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

Hosts India have been drawn in Pool D, alongside England, Spain and Wales, for the Men's FIH World Cup 2023, which will be held in Odisha from January 13 to 29, next year.

The draws were announced in Bhubaneshwar, which is one of the host cities for the upcoming Hockey World Cup along with Rourkela.

The 2023 edition will be the fourth time that India will be hosting the men’s hockey World Cup. The matches will be played at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar and the newly-built Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium in Rourkela.

India, by virtue of being the hosts, were placed in Pot 1 and managed to avoid the top teams like world No. 1 Australia, defending champions Belgium and former world champions, the Netherlands, in their group.

The Indian men’s hockey team, currently ranked fifth in the world, is the top-ranked side among the four teams in Pool D.

India’s toughest match in their Pool will be against world No. 6 England. The two teams met in the group stages of the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham last month. The match ended in a 4-4 draw.

World No. 8 Spain have shown constant improvement under former Argentine Olympian and ex-Netherlands coach Max Caldas and may prove to be a tricky challenge for Graham Reid’s India. World No. 16 Wales are the lowest-ranked team in Pool D.

The Men’s FIH World Cup 2023, the 15th edition of the tournament, will see 16 countries, divided into four groups, competing for the title. 

Defending champions Belgium are clubbed with two-time champions Germany in Pool B. World No. 1 Australia are in Pool A along with Argentina.

The four pool winners (A-D) will advance to the quarter-finals while the teams finishing second and third in their pools will have to play crossover matches for the remaining four quarter-final spots.

In the 2018 edition, also held in India, Manpreet Singh-led side topped the group stage with two wins and a 2-2 draw against eventual champions Belgium. However, India suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat against the Netherlands in the quarter-finals after leading 1-0 at one stage.

The Indian men's hockey team’s best result in the World Cup came in 1975 when they defeated Pakistan 2-1 in the final in Kuala Lumpur to claim their only title to date. Pakistan, the most successful team at the Men’s FIH World Cup with four titles, failed to qualify for the 2023 World Cup.

Men’s FIH World Cup 2023 Groups

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

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