In a move aimed to take international hockey events to different cities across the country, Hockey India (HI) has announced Chennai, as the venue for the upcoming Asian Champions Trophy 2023.
This will be the seventh edition of the coveted tournament and it is slated to be held between August 3 and 12, 2023. It will be serving as a precursor to the Hangzhou Asian Games in September where teams will vie to win Gold and qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
Notably, Tamil Nadu’a capital Chennai had last hosted an international hockey event in 2007 when the prestigious Asia Cup was held. The city proved to be lucky for the Indian team, which had bagged the title after thrashing Korea 7-2 in the summit clash.
The Indian Men’s Team had won this Title in the inaugural edition held in 2011 and defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in the summit clash to win the title in 2016.
In the next edition in 2018, India were joint winners with Pakistan after rain affected the proceedings of the final, which was held in Muscat.
Welcoming the participating teams to Tamil Nadu, Minister of Youth Welfare and Sports Development Thiru Udhayanidhi Stalin said: “It is indeed a great pleasure and honour to host the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu which was once the capital of hockey in South India with many reputed domestic and international events being held here. I am very delighted to see the sport being revived in the state with many youngsters coming up the ranks including recent sensation in the Indian team S Karthi who is from Tamil Nadu.”
”I believe hosting the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 here will further revive the sport in the region and watching top teams in Asia will also inspire the younger generation to take up hockey as a career,” he added.
Meanwhile, Padma Shri Dilip Tirkey, president of HI said: “On behalf of Hockey India, I thank Mr Udhayanidhi Stalin for his support in hosting this prestigious tournament in Chennai. I had the honour of interacting with him during the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar-Rourkela and it was very encouraging to see his enthusiasm and passion for hockey. I also thank AHF for this opportunity. It has been a while since we had all the top teams in Asia come to India and participate here.”
”I have very fond memories of playing in Chennai and we hope they will all turn up in large numbers to support the participating teams,” he added.