Media Silence for FIH World Cup Hockey ‘India-2023’
World Cup Hockey 2023. Why this biased approach to the world event, both 4-yearly?How much of the fault lay with FIH and how much of the organizing committee in India? One may like to take a glance atf the world print media too. Almost entire world went whang-ho for over a month during the FIFA world cup…BUT…have a glance at the world print media on the FIH world-cup 2023. There is a near silence. Of course, there is one factor…that most of the nations play football at the international level whereas there are limited Hockey playing nations. Hockey is a recognized field sport in 137 nations which are also members of FIH.
Orissa India is the second consecutive venue for the FIH World Cup 2018 and 2023. It defies logic why there should not have been enough media coverage at both domestic and international fora. After all, media glare for world events are for both its promotion and finances. It also promotes the tourism of the host county. Indian ministries of Sports & Youth Affairs, as well as Tourism have missed out in bringing a very just glory to India of organizing the world event. Even the State Sports Federation has demonstrated lack of imaginations by not bringing the event to the limelight.
In the FIH world cup, there have been 16 teams. Seven of them constitute the champions from the 5 continents plus the Champions’ trophy and the host. The remaining teams are as per their international/world standing. It is noteworthy that 4-times champion Pakistan has not been able to find a place in 2023 world cup through the various qualifiers. All the matches will be played at the two world-class stadia in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela. The present 15th FIH world cup India-2023 comprises of the following 16 teams and their group fixtures of the matches are as given below: -
Pool A :Argentina, Australia, France, South Africa
Pool B :Belgium, Germany, Japan, Korea
Pool C :Chile, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand
Pool D : England, India, Spain, Wales
The forthcoming matches to be played are mentioned in the table below. The schedule also lays emphasis of the match serial numbers as the knock-out events between nos 2 & 3 of the respective pools will be played as per those numbers as mentioned below. Semi-finals will be played on 27 Jan and Final on 29 Jan 23.
The Pool Standing and point tables:-
The point table of the various teams in their respective pools could be found on several platforms with daily updates. As of now, Australia, Belgium (defending champion), India and Netherlands have shown sparks in the initial matches of their respective groups. It will be worth following their day to day performances.
The elimination matches were bit unpredictable. Host India got eliminated early despite being hot favourite in that match. Australia, the hot favourite of the World Cup tournament missed out from podium finish. Undoubtedly, lot many matches were fought very closely. Compliments to Germany for standing at the top of the podium followed by Belgium and Netherlands. The final top standing of the teams were as follows:-
This world cup hockey too remained a difficult nut to crack for India essentially for two reasons. Firstly, Indian team lacked penalty corner specialists and secondly, the team coach failed to inculcate to acquire skills on long scoops inside opponents D. There are several other lacunae too in the team that limited their swift and counter-attacking capabilities…that surely will be deliberated.
Some useful info on the Past Winners:-
Pakistan - 1994, 1981, 1978, 1971
Netherlands - 1998, 1990, 1973
Australia - 2014, 2010, 1986
Germany - 2006, 2002
India - 1975
Belgium - 2018
World Cup matches of popular tournaments like Hockey are a treat to the eyes. It is the responsibility of both FIH and the hosts to give wide media publicity to the 4-yearly event to attract international spectators and game lovers. Media exposure and promotion to the event has been half-hearted at the best.