Odisha is on track to complete the infrastructure development for the FIFA under-17 Women’s World Cup by September, Vishal K. Dev, the State’s Sports and Youth Services Commissioner-cum-Secretary, said on Sunday.
The tournament, postponed due to COVID-19, will be held from February 17 to March 7, 2021.
In an Instagram Live chat with Sportstar, Vishal said the main pitch of the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, which will host eight matches, including a quarterfinal and semifinal, is “ready as per FIFA standards”. “We are preparing three new football pitches in the city in order to give a pitch, along with the related facilities, to each of the teams that are housed here. We are confident of getting everything ready by the end of September,” he said.
The Sports Secretary said the State will soon launch the FIFA Women’s World Cup legacy programme which will focus on identifying and nurturing young footballers.
With limited funding and sponsorships due to the pandemic, Vishal said the priority has been on developing infrastructure for international sporting events, and making the High Performance Centres functional in their main facilities.