Indian Super League outfit Delhi Dynamos will shift its home base from the capital to Bhubaneshwar, the club announced in a release on Saturday.
The move was on the cards for a while after the Dynamos failed to generate interest among the crowds in the capital.
However, the club said they were delighted to move to Odisha that has seen plenty of sporting activities in the past few years. The club will play its home games at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneshwar.
“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 Fifa U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020,” the statement read.
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.”
Delhi Dynamos are the second ISL franchise to shift base this season. On Tuesday, FC Pune City moved to Hyderabad after they were rebranded as Hyderabad FC under a new ownership.
There was no mention of a name change in the release, however, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik was quoted as welcoming Odisha FC in the release suggesting the announcement of a name change could follow.
“I congratulate and extend a warm welcome to Odisha FC and 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.” Patnaik said
Rohan Sharma, the Director of Delhi Dynamos though revealed that the club would continue to nurture talent in Delhi and NCR regions.
“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” he said.