The matches of the 2021 Men's Junior Hockey World Cup, in Bhubaneswar, will be staged in front of empty stands. The organisers believing that it would not be possible to allow so many people and also follow all the covid guidelines and protocols laid out by the central government.
The FIH Odisha Men's Hockey Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021 scheduled to begin on November 24, will be a telecast-only affair as Hockey India and FIH jointly decide to hold the marquee quadrennial tournament under closed-doors.
With the sheer popularity of the sport in this region and expected crowds in the stadium, the organisers believe it would not be possible control that number of people and yet follow all the necessary covid guidelines and protocols laid out by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, State Government, FIH and Hockey India. Social distancing is a priority due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic situation and the safety of the fans and athletes needs to be prioritised.
For the organisers, it is imperative to hold the tournament in an environment where health and safety of the participating teams is of paramount importance.
While the stadium will only be open to accredited personnel and the participants of the tournament, the fans can tune in and cheer for their favourite teams and players, across platforms around the world for all games.
The FIH Odisha Men's Hockey Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021 will see 16 teams in the fray. The participating teams include defending champions and hosts India, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Egypt, France, Germany, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, Spain, The Netherlands and the United States. After five days of pool stage matches, the classification matches will be held from 30th November with the Quarter Finals to be played on 1st December, Semi Finals on 3rd and the title clash will be played on 5th December.