Bhubaneswar: A good news for sports fans in the city as Kalinga Stadium is likely to host the India vs. Qatar football match in March next year.
“Hope to see the action live next March in #KalingaStadium, the likely venue for the India vs Qatar match,” Director of Sports and Youth Services Department, Vineel Krishna, tweeted on Tuesday.
The tweet came after India fought valiantly against Qatar and held the Asian champions to a goal-less draw in the second match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in Doha. Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who was unbeatable under the bar, led the team to the draw.
India is placed in Group-E of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers along with Oman, Qatar, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Kalinga Stadium will also host two matches of the FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers on November 1 and 2.
Indian men’s hockey team will take on Russia, while the Indian eves will face USA. The winners of these matches will qualify for the 2020 Olympic hockey tournament to be held in Tokyo, Japan.
The Odisha capital has also been picked as a provisional venue for FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020.
Addressing the media here in the last week of August, Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee, Roma Khanna congratulated Odisha for being part of “a cornerstone event for women’s football in the country”.
She, however, added, “There is work remaining, and the state government has to bring the stadium and training sites up to the 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 said.
The reparation work of Kalinga Stadium is underway now for the World Cup.
The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup will be the first FIFA competition for women in the country and the second overall to be held in India.
The premier stadium has already played host to the Men’s Hockey World Cup, Asian Athletics Championship and other international championships.