Monday 31 October 2022, 10:00

New Bhubaneswar training sites a legacy of India 2022

  • New training sites developed in Bhubaneswar

  • FIFA Pitch Management Team ensured the highest standards

  • Venue hosted six matches, including all India group games

The 20-day FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022™ concluded with Spain lifting the trophy after putting on a stellar show in the final against Colombia at Navi Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium. The tournament had kicked off on 11 October at Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium, one of three host cities chosen for the tournament. The city already had an international standard stadium, but additional infrastructure to host the tournament was needed. This triggered a collaboration between FIFA and the local authorities, to ensure the development of similar quality training sites.

Players of Brazil warm up during a training session at Capital Football Arena

Alan Ferguson, FIFA's Senior Pitch Management Manager, was involved in monitoring the development of the newly constructed training sites. Ferguson was also tasked with coming up with a plan to ensure that the training sites developed for the tournament were of the highest standards. Talking about Bhubaneswar, FIFA’s Project Lead Oliver Vogt said, “The venue had past experience of hosting international tournaments, so, there was already a good understanding of what was needed to host an event of this stature.” Lauding the cooperation between FIFA and the local officials, Vogt said, “The people working at the Kalinga Stadium were keen to listen to our advice and they implemented them very well. So, the overall end result was extremely positive.” Vogt also reserved praise for the Government of Odisha. “The support of the state of Odisha was brilliant. They also came on board as one of the national sponsors for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022™ which showed their enthusiasm towards the sport.”

 Dudinha of Brazil in action during a training session ahead at Odisha Football Academy

The new training sites will go down as one of the legacies of the tournament that saw the participation of 16 teams. Vogt insisted, “Good facilities encourage young kids to play more football, as everyone enjoys playing on good pitches more than they do on bad pitches. So, the hope is that the new sites encourage more children to take up the game.” Post-tournament, Vogt maintained that FIFA will continue to help and guide those involved in the upkeep of the new training sites in Bhubaneswar. “We care about football in India and it’s important for us that it continues to grow here. We will remain in contact through the relationships we have cultivated during this special tournament” he concluded.