Bhubaneswar Among Contenders To Host FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2020
Bhubaneswar has been cleared to organise yet another international event after the Men’s Hockey World Cup in 2017. This time the city is contesting to host 2020 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. Besides Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Navi Mumbai, and Ahmedabad are among the possible venues for the international sporting event.
Roma Khanna, the FIFA tournament director of the local organising committee confirmed that the city had become the first venue to get a provisional clearance for the FIFA U-17 event, first FIFA competition for women in the country. “The venue will receive full ratification by FIFA, and then be confirmed as the host city for the tournament after a final inspection. The inspection will take place later this year” she said.
Though the detailed schedule for the tournament is yet to be announced, according to official sources, a total of 16 teams, including India, will play in the tournament. Each selected city will get to host at least six matches.
State sports secretary Vishal Dev expressed his pride when the announcement was made. He said, “Hosting a world cup will boost the state government’s efforts to transform the city into a world sports destination”. He also mentioned about the upgradation of the Kalinga Stadium to meet FIFA standards. “The state government has set a benchmark in organizing international sporting events. Preparations are on to ready the stadium. We are confident of getting the final clearance for the event” Dev added.
The main pitch of the Kalinga Stadium is being upgraded as four practice pitches are set to be developed. While the stadium has one practice pitch, three other practice pitches – two on the police battalion campus and another on the Capital High School campus will soon be set up. As part of the tournament, a football legacy programme will be launched that will help create an ecosystem for the development of women’s football in Odisha.