Odisha will host the 2020-’21 Hero Indian Women’s League, the All India Football Federation said on Sunday.

The dates for the tournament are yet to be finalised and will be announced soon, the football body added.

AIFF president Praful Patel thanked the Odisha government for agreeing to play host to the event.

“The government of Odisha has been a great supporter of Indian football. We are very thankful to Shri Naveen Patnaik ji, Mr Vishal Kumar Dev, Mr Vineel Krishna and the entire sports department of Odisha for extending all the support and help to organise the Indian Women’s League,” Patel said in a statement.

“Over the years, the tournament has provided the platform for a lot of budding women footballers to showcase their talent and provide them the option of taking up football as a career.”

The AIFF further stated that it “stays committed to the development of women’s football in the country.”

India are scheduled to host the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2022 which will be followed by the Fifa U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022.

The AIFF, thus, is hoping to utilise the event to scout and unearth new talent for the women’s national team.

Odisha sports minister Tushar Kanti Behera said, “Holistic development of sports in India, and Indian football in particular is Odisha sports’ vision. Odisha has been synonymous with women’s football in India for long.

“I am an ardent supporter of women empowerment, and the hosting of the Indian Women’s League in Odisha allows us the opportunity to contribute to the development of women’s football in the country along with the All India Football Federation.”

Odisha principal secretary, Sports and Youth Services Department, Vishal Kumar Dev added: “Hosting the 2020-21 edition of the Indian Women’s League will be another feather in the cap of Odisha sports. Under the leadership of Hon’ble Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Odisha has turned into the biggest sporting hub in our country.

“I am sure the IWL will lead to tremendous excitement amongst the football aficionados of the state.