Bhubaneswar, Aug 27 (IANS) Bhubaneswar on Tuesday became the first venue to receive a provisional clearance to host the FIFA U-17 Womens World Cup India 2020. The local organising committee confirmed the city as a provisional venue for the prestigious event next year.
Addressing the media here, Tournament Director Roma Khanna said: "We are happy to give a provisional clearance to the city of Bhubaneswar and confirm them as the first venue for the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup to be provisionally selected. I would like to congratulate the state of Odisha for being part of what is sure to be a cornerstone event for women's football in the country."
"There is work remaining, and the state government has to bring up the stadium and the training sites to FIFA standards. But we are satisfied with the commitment exhibited by the government to complete all the work that is required to obtain the full ratification," she added.
Kalinga Stadium will become the first to host a FIFA competition in Odisha.
Odisha's Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Tusharkanti Behera also expressed pride over the development, saying: "We feel delighted to announce that Bhubaneswar is the first city to receive the provisional clearance to host the prestigious FIFA Women's U-17 World Cup. It will be the first global football tournament for women in the country and a huge honour for the state to host such a prestigious tournament of the world's most popular sport."
"Our girls have proved their mettle in the sports of rugby, hockey among others, and I believe that through the football Legacy Programmes we are planning in the state as part of this World Cup, we will be laying a strong foundation for the development of women's football," he added.
The venue has to be fully compliant by the time the final inspection takes place later this year. Based on this, it will receive full ratification by the international football association and will be confirmed as the host city for the event, which will be the first FIFA competition for women in the country and the second overall to be held in India.