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Odisha CM inaugurates AIFF-FIFA Football Academy in the presence of Arsene Wenger

Bhubaneswar: In a momentous event held at the vibrant Kalinga Stadium during India vs Qatar match of Round 2 in the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027 joint qualification campaign, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, accompanied by FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, Arsene Wenger, inaugurated the AIFF-FIFA Talent Academy.

This collaboration between AIFF (All India Football Federation) and FIFA, in partnership with the Government of Odisha, marks a significant stride in enhancing football development across India. The academy, set to nurture talent in the under-14 category, will select 50 promising football players nationwide, including 15 from Odisha. The distinguished FIFA-appointed coach will lead the academy, complemented by coaches and staff from AIFF and the Government of Odisha.

Expressing his enthusiasm, CM Patnaik stated, “Football holds a special place in the hearts of young Indians. Recognizing the immense talent in our country, I believe, with the right coaching infrastructure, our teams can excel on the global stage. It’s gratifying to collaborate with FIFA and AIFF in establishing these academies. Odisha is committed to supporting football projects and will closely work with AIFF to promote football across India.”

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