Sunday, July 21, 2024

Hockey World Cup travel up in the air for fans

Hockey fans covering the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup are still in the dark over travel to the tournament’s second venue, Rourkela.

With the tournament set to start in mid January, there is still no confirmation on daily flights between Bhubaneswar and Rourkela.

Group stage matches are taking place in both venues, with competing nations playing in the two cities, before the quarter-finals onwards are staged in Bhubaneswar and lower ranking matches in Rourkela.

Although the new 20,000-seater stadium in Rourkela is set to be ready on time, there is still doubt over whether the upgraded airport will be in operation.

No commercial flights are currently in the offing, with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) admitting that flights may start towards the end of the year, although this has not been confirmed.

For the teams, the plan is that there will be charter flights from Rourkela to Bhubaneswar, organised by Hockey India and Odisha.

It means that Jharsuguda could be used as a travel hub for fans. The city is an 80-minute train journey or approx 90 minutes by road, while there are daily flights from Jharsuguda to Bhubaneswar.

The Hockey Paper has yet to receive a response from Hockey India on travel and accommodation for hockey fans looking to make the trip.

The World Cup will start on Jan 13 and runs until Jan 29.

Earlier this month, The Hockey Paper reported that Odisha government officials had urged authorities to make the Rourkela airport operational following expansion, with air transport a key requirement for the World Cup. 

The airport in Rourkela, the industrial capital of Odisha, was due to be operational from March 2020.

Total Hockey

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