Lucknow to host junior men’s hockey World Cup in December

New Delhi : Sixteen countries will clash in the men’s junior World Cup in Lucknow from December 8 to 18, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced on Tuesday.

Besides hosts India, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, England, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan and Spain will vie for the top honours.

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The women’s junior World Cup will take place in Santiago, Chile, from November 24 to December 4.

Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, China, England, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, the US and Zimbabwe will battle it out in the championship.

Announcing the men’s itinerary, Hockey India president and FIH executive board member Narinder Dhruv Batra said: “The hockey junior World Cup, aside from being one of international hockey’s showcase events, is also a competition that shows the future of our sport.

“It highlights the best of the best in the years to come. And for such an event, there is no better host than the cradle of Indian hockey.”

He said Uttar Pradesh had a rich history in hockey, having provided India great players such as Major Dhyan Chand, K.D. Singh Babu, Jaman Lal Sharma, Zafar Iqbal and Syed Ali.

“Therefore we are delighted to take this competition to a city with such an extensive history.”

FIH president Leandro Negre added: “Lucknow is the perfect stage for our young stars to shine. It is a hotbed for hockey, its residents passionate about our great sport. Their energy combined with Hockey India’s experience of delivering first class events will be key to the success of the men’s Junior World Cup.

“I’m sure all the teams, officials and fans heading to Lucknow will have a thoroughly enjoyable experience,” he added.