Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik, along with Chief of Global Football Development at FIFA, Mr. Arsene Wenger, inaugurated the AIFF-FIFA Talent Academy in front of a full-house Kalinga stadium during the India vs Qatar encounter at Round 2 of the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027 joint qualification campaign in Kalinga Stadium.
This is a major initiative to boost football development in India. AIFF and FIFA are partnering with Government of Odisha in establishing this academy. 50 talented football players In the under 14 years category will be selected for the academy from across the country, including 15 Odisha players. The Academy will be headed by a Fifa appointed coach along with various coaches and staff from AIFF and Govt of Odisha.