Bhubaneawar, May 31: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday inaugurated three Football Training Centers in Bhubaneswar ahead of the upcoming Intercontinental Cup 2023, marking the establishment of Odisha Football Academy, Bhubaneswar Football Academy and Capital Arena Football.
The Indian Men’s Football Teamwork, including Team Captain Sunil Chhetri was also present to welcome a new era of football in Odisha.
The initiative was developed at a cost of Rs 90 crore and features a total of six FIFA certified pitches, including five natural and one synthetic football ground, LED flood lights, players changing room, gallery, gm, coach room and other amenities.
The three centers are situated at the heart of the city and are at close vicinity to each other thus giving an added advantage to players and multiple teams to train simultaneously especially during tournaments.
Speaking on the inauguration, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “These sports infrastructures mark a significant milestone in the development of football in Odisha. They will provide world class training ground for football. With their launch, we aim to strengthen the football ecosystem and provide a nurturing environment for aspiring footballers to grow and flourish.”
These facilities are equipped with top-notch facilities ensuring that athletes receive the best training and support to enhance their skills. These infrastructures reflect our commitment to promoting sports and nurturing talent in Odisha. I believe that these new facilities will not only encourage the youth to pursue their passion for football but also serve as a hub for Football training in the country, he added.
Chief Minister Sri Naveen Patnaik announced that Girls’ Football Academy with artificial turf will be constructed at Aul in Kendrapada district.
There is a lot of passion for football in the state hence grassroots level training programme will be introduced for 6-12 years old kids at the three academies to encourage young kids from the state to take up football. Referee Education programme and Coaches Education program will also be conducted here periodically.
The three centers will be training ground for National U-16 and U-19 National team, Odisha FC’s (Men, Women and Youth) and all State teams (both men and women). Training sessions of U-13, U-15, and U-18 state academies will be held here. The centers will also be venue for State Leagues including FAO League, Odisha Women’s League, School Leagues and tournaments, local leagues thus promoting an all-round conducive environment for the growth and popularity of football.
The top-quality infrastructure will be on display for the world to see in the upcoming Intercontinental Cup 2023, that will feature; India, Lebanon, Mongolia and Vanuatu. The tournament commences on June 9, with Lebanon taking on Vanuatu, while the home team India will take on Mongolia in their first game of the campaign.
Among others Sports Minister Tusarkanti Behera, Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena, Development Commissioner Anu Garg, Sports Secretary R Veneel Krishna were present at the function.