Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday launched the official host city logo of the state for the upcoming FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022.
Odisha is one of the three hosts for the World Cup, which is scheduled to be held between October 11-30 across Odisha, Goa and Maharashtra. This will be the first FIFA women's competition to be held in India and the first FIFA competition to be hosted by Odisha.
Expressing delight at the launch event, Patnaik said, "Odisha is emerging as a leading sports destination and hosting the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022 is a momentous opportunity for our state."
The official host city logo launch of Odisha is an important milestone which also signifies the progress of women's football, he said.
"We are excited to host the best young female footballers from across the world and especially, the Indian team who will be playing all their group stage games at the Kalinga Stadium," said the Chief Minister.
As the Indian team makes its first appearance in a FIFA women's competition, he encouraged the people of Odisha to show their support in strong numbers at the stadium.
The official host city logo of Odisha is a composite that presents the official emblem of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup beside a specially-designed artwork that showcases the rich cultural heritage, vibrant sporting ecosystem and overall splendour of the state.
Project directors of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the tournament, Ankush Arora and Nandini Arora, also conveyed their sentiments of gratitude, while encouraging the people to visit the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
On the occasion, a special initiative for school children called the 'Kick Off The Dream Football Carnival' was also inaugurated. This carnival, aimed at introducing football to children and leveraging its power to normalise gender-inclusive participation, features football-themed games and activities as well as one five-a-side football pitch and two three-a-side football pitches.
The 'Kick Off the Dream Football Carnival' will engage nearly 60,000 school children over 35 days and conclude on October 17, 2022.