Bhuvneshwar, not Delhi to host 2014 Champions Trophy

New Delhi: Orissa`s capital Bhuvneshwar will host the 35th edition of the Champions Trophy Men`s Hockey Tournament to be held from December 13-21 next year.

The eight-team elite International Hockey Federation (FIH) event will be held at the Kalinga Stadium, which is presently under renovation and will be in full shape by June next year, Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra stated.

Batra also informed that Hockey India will host the event in collaboration with Orissa state government.

"It has been more than a month that we have allocated the Champions Trophy to Orissa and it will be held in Bhuvneshwar," Batra said.

"We have full support from the Orissa government. The stadium will have two astroturfs, one is ready and the work on the other is going on. The Orissa government has assured us that the entire construction work will be completed by June next year," he said.

Batra said being medium sized stadium and the growing popularity of the game in Orissa, the Champions Trophy is expected to draw huge crowds to the ground unlike previous events at capital`s Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

Batra also said that Delhi government was partially to be blamed for low spectator turnouts during the just-concluded Junior World Cup.

"We could put the tickets on sale just one week before the tournament because they gave us permission at the eleventh hour inspite of the fact that we applied for the same in September," he said.

"I sometimes just wonder is the Delhi government anti-sports?"

The FIH also gave thumbs up to Bhubaneswar when a delegation of the world body visited the Kalinga stadium earlier this year and were impressed with the facilities.

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