Naveen Patnaik, the chief minister of Odisha, opened three football training facilities in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday in advance of the four-nation Intercontinental Cup 2023, which is slated to take place in June.
The Capital Arena Football, the Bhubaneswar Football Academy, and the Odisha Football Academy were all opened by Patnaik. Sunil Chhetri, the captain of the men’s national team, also attended the event to herald in a new era of football in Odisha.
The project cost Rs 90 crore. It has six FIFA-certified fields—five with natural turf and one with synthetic—LED lighting, players’ locker rooms. Moreover a gallery, a gym, a coaches’ room, and other amenities.
As a result of the three centres’ central location and close proximity to one another, players can train at the same time, which is very helpful when competing.
“It is a great pleasure and pride to inaugurate the Odisha Football Academy, the Bhubaneswar Football Academy, and the Capital Football Arena. These sports infrastructure mark a significant milestone in the development of football in Odisha. They will provide a world-class training facility to the players,” Patnaik stated.
With the opening of the three centres, Odisha hopes to improve the ecology surrounding football. And offer a nurturing atmosphere for prospective players to develop and thrive, he added.
Football training centres’ features
According to Patnaik, “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,” Patnaik said.
The Chief Minister also disclosed plans to build an artificial turf ladies’ football academy at Aul in the Kendrapara district.
In order to encourage young children from the state to take up football. Officials indicated that a grassroots level training programme will be launched. At the three academies for the age group of 6 to 12. This is because there is a lot of passion for football in the state.
The National U-16 and U-19 teams, Odisha FC (men, women, and youth), and all state teams (both men and women) will all practise at the three locations. There will also be training sessions for the state academies for ages U-13, U-15, and U-18 here.
The centres will also serve as the locations for state leagues. Like the FAO League, the Odisha Women’s League, school leagues, and local leagues. Fostering an environment that is generally favourable to the development and expansion of football.
India, Lebanon, Mongolia, and Vanuatu will compete in the next Intercontinental Cup 2023. Which will showcase the world’s attention to detail in infrastructure. The competition will start on June 9.
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