New Delhi, 24th June 2023: The organizing committee of the FIH Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 unveiled the much-anticipated tournament’s Pools and schedule on Saturday. Set to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 5th to 16th December 2023, the prestigious event will showcase the talents of young hockey players from around the world.
To add to the excitement, ahead of the elite event, FIH also revealed the new Junior Men’s World Rankings as per which India are ranked third. It is worth noting that India are the top-ranked team in the Continental rankings.
Speaking on the new rankings and Pools draw, India’s Men’s Junior Asia Cup 2023 winning Captain Uttam Singh said, “We are thrilled to know that we have been ranked third in the World. This new ranking reflects the dedication and hard work our team has put in over the years. Also, the Pool’s draw for the World Cup has set the stage for some intense competition. We are thrilled to be part of such a prestigious tournament and look forward to testing our mettle against the world’s best junior teams. Our goal is to make our country proud and leave a lasting impression.”
Meanwhile, Indian Men’s Junior Hockey Coach CR Kumar said, “It’s an irresistible moment, 164 days left to step onto the stage of the Junior World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where India would like to taste the third win in World Cup. It’s a long way and these young lads have the ability to create one more centre-stage finish. We have five players from the last World Cup and they play a lead role in our team and others are gaining experience by working along with them. We are lucky to have a couple of tournaments before the Junior World Cup to gain match experiences against different opponents to enhance our confidence. We thank all the stakeholders for their optimum support.”
Notably, the Indian team has been placed in Pool C alongside Canada, Korea and Spain. According to the schedule, India’s campaign will commence against Korea on 5th December, while they will take on Spain in their second Pool game on 7th December. In their third and last Pool game, India will clash with Canada on 9th December.
Having recently emerged victorious in the Men’s Junior Asia Cup 2023 in Oman, the Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team will enter the FIH Junior Men’s World Cup 2023 with high confidence, aiming to secure the coveted trophy for the third time as they have clinched it twice already in 2001 and 2016. India also won a silver medal in the tournament in 1997 when they lost 3-2 to Australia in the final.
Notably, Germany are the most successful team in the tournament’s history, having won the title six times. They are followed by defending champions Argentina and India, who have won the elusive trophy two times each. Also, Australia and Pakistan have each won the tournament once.
As per the FIH Junior Men’s World Cup 2023 format, each team in the Pool stage will play the other three teams in their respective Pool once and the top two teams from each Pool will progress to the Quarter-Finals, while the remaining teams will play for classification positions.
Meanwhile, Argentina have topped the list of newly announced FIH Junior Men’s rankings, while Germany are ranked second. Netherlands and Belgium are fourth and fifth respectively on the list.
Here are the pools for the Junior Women’s Hockey World Cup 2023:
By Hockey India