Indian Super League franchise Delhi Dynamos FC have decided to relocate its home base from the national capital to Bhubaneswar, Odisha, after playing the ISL for five years from the iconic Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi.
The state of Odisha, in the last few years, have emerged to be the Sports Capital of the nation, with Bhubaneswar successfully hosting the 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup, the first two editions of the Super Cup and numerous other sporting events. The Kalinga Stadium, which will be adopted as the club’s new home ground, already hosts the All India Football Federation’s developmental side, Indian Arrows apart from being a breeding ground of Indian Football. The stadium also boasts to be the first venue to be provisionally cleared for the upcoming 2020 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup – India.
Speaking on the decision of moving the club, owner of the franchise and the President and founding CEO of GMS Leadership, Dr Anil Sharma said, “It hurts for me to move Delhi Dynamos FC away from the city of Delhi, but certain hard decisions had to be taken. I had a vision for the development of football in the country. And my vision has always made me strive for better. I feel the state of Odisha shares the same vision with me. As difficult as it was for me to take the call, I am immensely happy to say that the Government of Odisha is equally committed and determined to create an environment of sporting excellence in the state.”
In the last two years, the state of Odisha has successfully hosted more than 12 national as well as international sporting events, which includes the Men’s Hockey World League finals and the AIFF four-nations Women’s Gold Cup. The success of all these tournaments have consolidated the state’s commitment and proactiveness in developing sports in the region.
“Thus, after a collective discussion and analysis with the management of Delhi Dynamos FC, we have decided to move ahead with the relocation,” Dr Sharma added further.
Rohan Sharma, Director, Delhi Dynamos FC added: “Irrespective of where we play from, our vision is to make India a superpower in global football. While the club will relocate to Odisha, we will continue nurturing talent via Academy and Soccer Schools in Delhi NCR as well, thereby providing a path to top-level football.”
In conjuncture with the developments, Delhi Soccer Private Limited, on Saturday, August 31, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Odisha, to facilitate the move. The signing happened in the presence of the Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik and Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera.
On this partnership,Chief Minister, Government of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik said, “I congratulate and extend a warm welcome to Odisha FC and Hero Indian Super League. It is a significant development towards the promotion of football in Odisha. I am sure this partnership would inspire our State’s footballers to pursue the beautiful game of football with greater commitment.”
Minister for Sports and Youth Services, Government of Odisha, Tusharkanti Behera said, “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. Earlier this week, we received the provisional clearance to host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020 in Bhubaneswar. We are also home to the India U-16 and India U-19 teams as part of our partnership with the All India Football Federation. This project is a significant step in furthering the outreach of football in the state amongst budding footballers and sports lovers alike.”