AIFF-FIFA Talent Academy Inaugurated At Kalinga Stadium In Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik along with Chief of Global Football Development at FIFA Arsene Wenger inaugurated the AIFF-FIFA Talent Academy at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.

Inaugurating the academy during the India vs Qatar encounter at Round 2 of the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027 joint qualification campaign in the stadium, the chief minister said, “Football is a popular game in India especially among the younger generation. There is lot of talent in football in the country and with proper coaching facilities, our team can perform very well in future. I am happy that we are able to partner with FIFA and AIFF to create such academies. Odisha will support football projects and work in close collaboration with AIFF for football promotion in India.”

AIFF and FIFA are partnering with Odisha government in establishing this academy. At least 50 talented football players in under-14 years category will be selected for the academy from across the country, including 15 players from Odisha. The Academy will be headed by a FIFA appointed coach along with various coaches and staff from AIFF and Odisha government.

VK Pandian, Chairman 5T & Navin Odisha, interacted with Wenger during his visit to the stadium. Pandian showed the upcoming sports science centre in Kalinga Stadium to Wenger, who was impressed with the commitment of the state towards sports development.

Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera, president of All India Football Federation (AIFF) Kalyan Chaubey, Chief Secretary PK Jena, development commissioner Anu Garg and Sports secretary Vineel Krishna were also present on the occasion.

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