Odisha's capital city Bhubaneswar on Tuesday became the first venue to get a provisional clearance for FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup 2020.
This was revealed by Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee Roma Khanna.
"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," Khanna said on Thursday.
Optimistic of Bhubaneswar emerging as the cornerstone event for women's football in the country, she added: "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."
The FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2020 will help upgrade the infrastructure to FIFA standards. The Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar will become the first to host a FIFA competition in Odisha.
"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," said Odisha's Sports and Youth Services Minister Tusharkanti Behera.
The minister said through the Football Legacy programme the state is planning to lay a strong foundation for the development of women's football.
"It is a prestigious moment for us to be associated with a FIFA World Cup and prospectively add Bhubaneswar to the list of some top cities of the world that have hosted a FIFA World Cup game," said Sports and Youth Services secretary Vishal K Dev.
He said the state is now developing and upgrading infrastructure as per the FIFA guidelines.
"I am confident that the event will make a positive impact and help create a football ecosystem for the youth of the state", Dev said.
The final inspection will take place later this year following which the venue of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2020 will be named.
Hyderabad replaces Pune City as new ISL franchise
The sixth Indian Super League will have a new team with Hyderabad FC, a city with a storied past in football, replacing FC Pune City, a club that has been plagued by financial problems in recent years.
Vijay Madduri and Varun Tripuraneni are the owners of the the new team, which will play its match at the Gachibowli Stadium in Hyderabad.
Pune City struggled to pay salaries to players and support staff during the fifth edition of the ISL in 2018-19.
"Hyderabad, a city that boasts of a strong football culture, will soon see its own team making its debut in the upcoming Hero Indian Super League season," the ISL said in a release.
It is understood that the Wadhawan Group, owners of Pune City, are winding up the team due to financial issues.
FC Pune City were also facing a two-window ban on player transfer after the club was found guilty of "unethically tapping" Chennai City midfielder Nestor Gordillo.
Madduri, an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, has been serving as the CEO of Hyderabad-based digital integration service provider Incessant Technologies for nearly a decade.
The former software engineer has previously served as the director of sales and client services for Virtusa India Pvt Ltd while he has also undertaken a one-year executive leadership program from the prestigious Yale School of Management in 2015.
"I look forward to playing a significant role in developing football in the state, reviving its past glory. Sports has always been in my DNA and I am extremely happy to have a chance to contribute in this field," said Vijay.
Tripuraneni switches from his professional role in football to an entrepreneurial role as co-owner of the club.
From team manager of Kerala Blasters in the inaugural ISL to serving as Chief Operating Officer of Chennaiyin FC, a season in which the club won the title and lastly, heading Kerala Blasters FC as the CEO, Tripuraneni's journey has been fascinating.
He also served a term as the president of the Chennai Football Association.
Tripuraneni said, "Hyderabad is a city with a great football culture. I look forward to working with key stakeholders and building a strong foundation for the club, which will eventually contribute to the society and do the city proud."
The ISL is slated to kick off on October 20 in Kochi with Kerala Blasters FC hosting ATK.