Odisha FC, the rebranded version of Delhi Dynamos after the Indian Super League franchise shifted base from Delhi to Bhubaneshwar has been forced to search for another venue to host its home matches after the Odisha government has failed to get the Kalinga stadium ready for the club to host their home games.
As per the schedule, Odisha FC face ATK in their first home game on November 24 before hosting Bengaluru FC and Hyderabad on December 4 and December 11 respectively.
“We will have to play our first two or three matches away. There is no doubt about it. As per the original plan, the ground was scheduled to be ready for our home matches, but excessive rain has delayed plans. The contractor couldn’t procure enough sand which was needed for the turf,” said a senior Odisha FC official told The Times of India.
The ground authorities at the Kalinga stadium are working on getting the turf ready before the Fifa inspection in December. The Kalinga stadium is the only approved venue for the Fifa U-17 Women’s World Cup next year.
The work on the turf is expected to go on beyond December and the venue is likely to be only available to Odisha by mid-December.
The franchise has thus shortlisted Pune’s Balewadi stadium and Ahmedabad’s TransStadia arena as possible venues to host their first 2-3 matches.
Odisha FC have endured a tough start to the season suffering two defeats in their first two games before picking up a morale-boosting win against Mumbai City FC.