FIH World Cup 2023: India drawn against England, Spain and Wales in Group D
The FIH World Cup will take place in India in January next year. The draw for the tournament has been made. India has been placed in Group D, alongside England, Spain and Wales. Matches will happen in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela.
India has been drawn in Group D of the FIH Men's Hockey World Cup alongside England, Spain and Wales. The tournament will be held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela in January next year. The draw of the 16-team competition was held in Bhubaneswar on Thursday, as four teams were pitted in four groups. The event is scheduled to run from January 13 to 29. Hosts India, the world number five side, is the highest ranked team in Pool D. It would take on world number six England, whom it recently played against during the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Birmingham, followed by two-time silver medallists Spain and Wales.
Spain is world number eight, while 16th-ranked Wales competes in its maiden World Cup. Pool A is ruled by world number one Australia, which won the bronze medal during the last World Cup in 2018. It has been drawn alongside 2016 Olympics champion Argentina, France and African champion South Africa.
Reigning world champion Belgium is the top seed, and it has been drawn in Pool B alongside 2006 winner Germany, Korea and Japan. Belgium is the second-ranked side, while Germany is ranked fourth. Pool C will include 2018 runner-up the Netherlands, which is ranked third in the world, along with Oceania's New Zealand, Malaysia and debutant Chile.
As for the draw, India, Australia, Belgium and Netherlands were placed in the opening row of their affiliated groups based on the FIH World Rankings of June 1. Naveen Patnaik (Chief Minister of Odisha), Seif Ahmed (FIH Acting President), Tusharkanti Behera (Odisha Sports Minister), and Committee of Administrators (CoA) members SY Quraishi and Zafar Iqbal also happened to be present during the occasion.
"We are always very proud to welcome the best hockey teams and players of the world for such an outstanding event," Patnaik said. Also, Ahmed expressed: "We can't wait to see the best teams in the world in action in the new 'jewel' of hockey, the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela, alongside the iconic Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar."
(With inputs from PTI)