Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: Odisha will once again find itself on the global stage, as Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar today became the first venue to get a provisional clearance for the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2020, confirmed the Local Organising Committee.

In a press conference, Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee, Roma Khanna congratulated the State for being selected.  However, she said that standard of training sites and stadium needs improvement.

"There is work remaining, and the Odisha government has to bring the stadium and the training sites up to FIFA standards," said Khanna.

Odisha Minister for Sports and Youth Services, Tusharkanti Behera, said, "Our girls have proved their mettle in the sports of Rugby, Hockey among others, and I believe as a part of this World Cup, we will be laying a strong foundation for development of women's football."

The final inspection of the stadium will take place later this year, when the venue has to be fully compliant. Based on this, it will receive a full ratification by FIFA and be confirmed as the host city for the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2020.

Speaking at a press conference, Commissioner-cum-Secretary of Odisha Sports and Youth Services department, Vishal Dev said, "It is a prestigious moment for us to be associated with a FIFA World Cup. We are confident of getting final clearance for the event which will make a positive impact and help create a football ecosystem for the youth in the State."

Kalinga stadium will become the first to host a FIFA competition in Odisha.

India will host the U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020 and it will be the second FIFA tournament that the country will be hosting, after the U-17 Men’s World Cup in 2017.