Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that another world-class hockey stadium will be constructed in the state. The announcement came during a felicitation for the Indian women's hockey team, which finished fourth at Tokyo 2020, at the chief minister's residence in Bhopal in Tuesday.
The Rani Rampal-led side came agonizingly close to a podium finish but missed out after losing the bronze medal match by a 3-4 margin to Rio 2016 gold medallist Great Britain.
The stadium could be constructed in Bhopal or Gwalior as Chouhan has left the decision to his cabinet colleague and Minister of Sports Yashodhara Raje Scindia.
"Madhya Pradesh government will make the contribution needed in the national game," Chouhan stated. "Hockey is our life, and we will build a world-class hockey stadium in the land of Madhya Pradesh. We will leave no stone unturned for the encouragement of any sport."
It was at the Madhya Pradesh State Women's Hockey Academy that women's hockey players like Sushila Chanu, Reena Khokhar, Monika, Rajni and Vandana Kataria had trained for Tokyo 2020 and Chouhan wants his state to take the sport forward.
"Bhopal is the nursery of hockey and we will continue to take sports forward," he said.
Members of India women's hockey team were presented with cheque of INR 31 lakh each during the felicitation. Chouhan also gifted a replica of Sanchi Stupa to each member of the team and assistant coach Tushar Khandekar as a memento.
"The Indian women's hockey team has given an outstanding performance in the Tokyo Olympics. These young women won the hearts of the people of the country. In the next Olympics, they will win the gold medal," he said.
The office-bearers of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Hockey India were also present on the occasion.