A match between Argentina and South Africa kicked off the Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 in Odisha Friday. Argentina beat South Africa 1-0. On the other hand, hosts India kicked off their campaign with a 2-0 win over Spain.
Across four recent editions, India is hosting a hockey World Cup for the third time. The city also hosted the event in 2010 (New Delhi) and 2018 (Bhubaneswar).
Elliot van Strydonck, a Belgian hockey player, expressed his disappointment over India hosting the mega event again. According to Van Strydonck, India has been able to host the mega event for the third time in four editions because of money.
A hockey player was asked: ‘How can a sport agree to play three of its last four Worlds in the same country?’
“The power of money. Belgians know India and its obligations well. They must be careful with water and food. They have their routine. It is regrettable that India still hosts such an event. But India is the only country that can fill stadiums with 20,000 seats every day.
The atmosphere is guaranteed. In addition, it is the only nation that can count on global sponsors like Hero or Odisha. The choice makes sense financially but is unfair to sporting fairness.
The Red Lions have won everything in 4 years. However, the media coverage of hockey remains too limited here (in Belgium),” van Strydonck told Belgium newspaper La Libre as quoted by The Indian Express.
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