Odisha gets its first govt-backed football club

Bhubaneswar: For the first time, a state government-sponsored football club from Odisha is all set to make an appearance in the national level football league, the U-15 Youth I-League at Pune.

Director of Sports and Youth Services Department R. Vineel Krishna while unveiling the jersey and logo of the team during a function in Bhubaneswar today, said “For the first time the government has launched a football team in the name of Sports Hostel Odisha which will take part in the Youth I-League tournament at Pune and we hope it will be successful in its campaign.”

Sports Hostel Odisha has been placed in ROI Group C along other clubs like, DSK Shivajians Football Club, Fateh Hyderabad AFC, Tata Football Academy and Ananthapur Sports Academy. It will kick of its campaign against Fateh Hyderabad AFC on December 18.

Excited about the new opportunities, players and coaches have welcomed the participation of Odisha in the national league as this will give a much needed boost to the untapped potential of football in Odisha.

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“We had never had an opportunity to play in professional football league before. We have been selected to play in the I-League so we will give our best and make our state proud,” footballer Subrat Pradhan said.

Parasar Bag, coach of Sports Hostel Odisha also praised the decision of the state government. “We should thank Odisha government to have made arrangements for many young players who can now chase their dreams of playing in professional football leagues.”