It's official now. Indian Super League club Delhi Dynamos will be rechristened as Odisha Football Club.
A formal agreement in this regard was signed by the Sports & Youth Services Department of the Odisha government and Delhi Soccer Private Limited — the owner of the club — on Saturday to launch ‘Odisha FC’ in Bhubaneswar.
The agreement was signed at the Lok Seva Bhavan here in the presence Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and State Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera.
According to an official release issued by the Sports & Youth Services Department, as part of the club’s operations in Odisha, the club’s first team, youth teams, youth football development program and grassroots football development program will be based in the State.
The Odisha government will support the club to relocate to Bhubaneswar through provision of world-class infrastructure for the home matches of the team in the ISL and practice facilities, among other support needed by the club for smooth operations in the State.
The government will also liaise with and support the club in its football development activities to further bolster the footballing landscape in the State of Odisha.
Speaking on the occasion, Patnaik extended a warm welcome to Odisha FC and Indian Super League. “It is a significant development towards promotion of football in Odisha and I am sure this partnership would inspire our State’s footballers to pursue the beautiful game of football with greater commitment,” he said.
Read | Delhi Dynamos shifts base to Bhubaneswar
“It is a matter of pride for us to give the people of Odisha their own club that they can support and stand behind. Development of football in the State is of priority to us,” said Behera.
Odisha FC owner Anil Sharma stated that the club will be a part of Odisha’s journey to develop a football community and further encourage sporting excellence in the State.
“Time and again, Odisha has demonstrated its passion for sports and we are proud to bring our own football club to the people of the State,” said Mishra.
“The addition of this new club in the Indian Super League — the topmost and most competitive football league of the country — will herald a new era of football in Odisha history,” he added.
Odisha has been a preferred partner for professional football clubs and the All India Football Federation.
In the past, the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar has hosted a home game of Jamshedpur FC in the ISL, home games of the team Indian Arrows in the Hero I-league, two editions of the Hero Super Cup and India’s First 4-Nations International Senior Tournament — the Hero Gold Cup.