Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Delhi Dynamos have relocated from the national capital to Bhubaneswar and have been renamed as Odisha FC. The franchise have been playing at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi for the past five years. The development comes days after FC Pune City shut their operations due to their financial problems in recent years and were replaced by new franchise Hyderabad FC.
Delhi, who have reached the semi-finals in the 2015 and 2016 edition, will relocate after the club penned a formal agreement between the Sports & Youth Services Department of the Odisha government and Delhi Soccer Private Limited in the presence of state chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday.
— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) August 31, 2019
The club will be playing their home matches at the Kalinga Stadium, which already hosts AIFF developmental side Indian Arrows. As per a statement released by the club it will continue to scout players from schools and academy in Delhi NCR.
“I congratulate and extend a warm welcome to Odisha FC and Indian Super League. It is a significant development towards 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 after the announcement.
Anil Sharma, the owner of the franchise, lamented about shifting their base away from Delhi but asserted that hard decisions were meant to be taken. “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,” Sharma said.