Men's FIH Hockey World Cup | How Odisha overcame logistical difficulties

Men's FIH Hockey World Cup | How Odisha overcame logistical difficulties

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Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, the two locations for the 2023 Men's Hockey World Cup, are about 300 kilometres apart. Travelling teams had some reservations about this, but the Indian Hockey Federation has made a special effort to make every guest feel at home with assistance from the government.

Travel time between the two cities is more than nine hours and two hours via air. The fact that Rourkela is not connected to other regions of the country as well as Bhubaneswar is a difficulty for both spectators and teams alike. Several international media sites remarked on the logistical problem at the World Cup as 20 of the 44 games of the 2023 Men's Hockey World Cup are scheduled to be played at the newly constructed Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela.

"It's been a bit of a nightmare. The transport between the venues isn't great. I don't know why the FIH have gone for two venues," a travelling Welsh fan group told The Hockey Paper last month. The travel duration between the locations also caused worry for the Malaysia hockey squad.

"At first we wanted to bring additional staff but the Hockey World Cup organisers kept the maximum size of the squads to 30 because planes need to be rented. I am not a fan of that (long travels during tournaments," their coach Arul Selvaraj stated during a news conference.

To ensure that none of the visiting teams are hampered by such logistical difficulties, Hockey India has gone above and beyond. To guarantee that all teams and players arrive on schedule and without incident, chartered aircraft between the two cities have been organised. In addition to providing free transportation for spectators, the local government has set up Volvo buses from Jharsuguda, Rourkela's closest airport, to Rourkela.

Additionally, match ticket holders in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela may take advantage of the "Mo Bus" service for convenient intra-city travel; the latter city's service only recently began.

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