New Delhi: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced that the 2015 men’s Hockey World League Final will be hosted by the Indian city of Raipur, Chhattisgarh between 27 November and 6 December 2015.
The event will be held in the 3,000 capacity Raipur International Hockey Stadium which was opened as a dedicated hockey facility in August 2014.
The event will feature eight national hockey teams who qualified through the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Buenos Aires and Antwerp. They include Australia, ranked number one in the FIH World Rankings, Netherlands (2), Germany (3), Belgium (4), Great Britain (5), Argentina (6), hosts India (8) and Canada (13).
This will be the first international hockey event to be staged not only in the newly built Raipur International Hockey Stadium, but also in the city of Raipur, the capital of India’s Chhattisgarh state.
“The Hockey World League Final is going to be an extremely exciting event, with all eight teams having qualified for the 2016 Olympics. This will be one of the last opportunities to test themselves against one another in international competition before they head out to Rio for the Games later next year,” said Leandro Negre, FIH President.
He continued: “India has a strong connection with the sport of hockey and we are delighted to be taking this showcase competition to a city that has shown a great desire to host international hockey tournaments. We have no doubt that the local organisers and the people of Raipur will put on a fantastic event for athletes, spectators and TV viewers around the world.”
Speaking about this announcement, Dr Raman Singh, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Chhattisgarh, said: "It is a proud moment for the State of Chhattisgarh. When we started work on the stadium the aim was to make a world class stadium which meets international standards and I’m happy that we have successfully achieved that. Chhattisgarh is known for its love for hockey and this stadium is a step towards giving those requisite facilities to the aspiring players who want to make their mark on the international platform. I welcome hockey fans from across the world and invite them to come and experience the exhilarating hockey set to be witnessed here in November and December.”
Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, President of Hockey India, added further support to the host confirmation. He said: "It’s great news for the Indian hockey fraternity as Raipur will host an international level tournament for the first time. This will be a huge motivation not only for Hockey India but also for the officials at the Raipur stadium. Yet again this proves our capabilities to host tournaments of this stature, effortlessly and perfectly. This will provide a huge opportunity for the people of Chhattisgarh to watch incredible hockey skills as teams compete to grab the tournament title. Tournaments like these will inspire the young generation to take up hockey as a career, which we hope will enhance our talent pool in the future.”
This is the second edition of the Hockey World League. The inaugural Hockey World League men’s Final was held in New Delhi, India and was won by the Netherlands.