India have been drawn with England, Spain and Wales in Pool D of the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup, to be held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela in January next year.
The draw of the 16-team tournament was held here on Thursday, with four teams making up four pools. The World Cup will be held from January 13 to 29.
Hosts India—world No. 5—are the highest ranked side in Pool D. They will face world No.6 England, whom they have recently met at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, two-time silver medallists Spain and Wales.
Spain are ranked eighth in the world while world No.16 Wales are playing in their maiden World Cup.
Pool A is headed up by world number one Australia, who got bronze medal at the last World Cup in 2018. They were drawn along with 2016 Olympic champions Argentina, France and African champions South Africa.
Reigning world champions Belgium are the top seed and they were drawn in Pool B along with 2006 winners Germany, Korea and Japan. Belgium are ranked second while Germany are fourth.
Pool C will feature last edition finalists the Netherlands, ranked third in the world, along with Oceania representative New Zealand, Malaysia—playing their ninth World Cup—and debutants Chile.
During the draw, India, Australia, Belgium and Netherlands were placed on the first row of their corresponding pools based on FIH World Rankings of June 1.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, FIH Acting President Seif Ahmed, State Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera, Committee of Administrators (CoA) members S.Y. Quraishi and Zafar Iqbal were also present on the occasion.
“We are always very proud to welcoming the best hockey teams and players of the world for such an outstanding event,” Mr. Patnaik said.
FIH Acting President Seif Ahmed said: “We can’t wait to see the best teams in the world in action in the new ‘jewel’ of hockey, the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela, alongside the iconic Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar.”