The FIH Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup 2021 will be held at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The under-21 tournament will begin on November 24 this year and the final is scheduled for December 5.
Odisha’s chief minister Naveen Patnaik officially announced the venue during an event on Thursday. “We are delighted to be hosts of this prestigious tournament. Our priority will be to ensure a safe environment to compete in during these challenging COVID times,” Naveen Patnaik said.
The event will feature hosts and the defending champions India, South Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, Belgium, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, USA, Canada, Chile and Argentina.
The 2021 FIH Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup hit a snag earlier this month with Australia and New Zealand pulling out due to COVID-related international travel restrictions. But the international governing body announced that USA and Canada will replace them in Bhubaneswar.
“Since the qualification process for the event stipulates that the Pan American Hockey Federation has the quota of the first reserve, the USA -- who finished third of the recent Junior Pan Am Championships -- have been selected. The second reserve spot was attributed to the best team in the FIH World Rankings (Seniors) not yet qualified, namely Canada,” the International Hockey Federation (FIH) said in a statement.
The last edition of the competition was hosted in Lucknow where an Harjeet Singh-led Indian team beat Belgium in the final to win its second junior World Cup title.
Bhubaneswar has been FIH’s go-to venue for a number of major hockey events in the past few years.
While the capital city of Odisha hosted the 2014 FIH Men’s Champions Trophy and the 2017 FIH Hockey World League, in 2018, the FIH Men’s World Cup was also played in Bhubaneswar.
The 2023 FIH Men’s World Cup will be co-hosted by Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, both cities in Odisha.