The Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar is one of the five venues of the upcoming FIFA Women's U17 World Cup that is set to be held in India in February 2021.
Preparations are in full swing and Odisha's Commissioner-cum-Sports-Secretary Vishal Dev has stated that the infrastructure in the state will be ready by the end of September.
"It is our privilege to be a part of the upcoming FIFA Women’s U17 World Cup. Our preparations are on track. The main pitch at the Kalinga Stadium is ready. We are creating three new FIFA standard pitches in the city. The idea is to provide the best infrastructure and training facilities for the participants.
"We have four practice pitches and we have another synthetic football turf that is coming up. We will be hosting eight matches including a quarterfinal and a semifinal of the tournament. We hope to be ready by the end of September," said Dev during a webinar hosted by FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry).
He also spoke at length about FIFA Women’s World Cup legacy programme which will focus on identifying and nurturing young footballers from the state. FIFA will be the technical partner for the programme, alongside the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
"The idea of the legacy programme is to boost women’s football in the state. We have identified 11 districts and there we intend to create clubs and enroll girls for the leagues under the programme. Equipment will be provided to the school and we aim to improve the infrastructure across the 11 districts," stated Dev.
India was appointed as the host by the FIFA Council meeting at Miami on 15 March 2019. The country had also successfully hosted the 2017 U17 Men's World Cup.
Five venues have been selected as host cities - the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata, Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, EKA Arena in Ahmedabad and the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
Spain are the defending champions, having won the 2018 edition while India will be participating for the first time ever.