The newest entrants , Odisha FC will not play their first home game in Bhubaneshwar. The Kalinga stadium which is owned by the Government of Odisha is currently undergoing an upgrade to meet the Fifa standards and the work is still under progress. Owing to the persistent rains in Bhubaneshwar the renovation got delayed and thus Odisha FC were forced to play at some other venue.
Delhi, Ahmedabad and Pune were the shortlisted venues for hosting the first three home games. The management might have finalized Pune owing to the fact that it has previously hosted an ISL team and also it has comparatively a better turnout than Delhi.
Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi has been the home ground for many clubs based in Pune. No club/ franchise has made its presence felt in Pune though. FC Pune city, DSK Shivajians, Kalyani Bharat Fc,Pune FC are some of the clubs who used to play in Pune but are currently defunct for some or the other reason.
The Odisha FC owner Rohan Sharma recently said that,”Unfortunately things are beyond our control so we have to consider an alternative venue for the first three home games. We look forward to having Kalinga stadium full when we have our eventual first home game.”
Kalinga stadium is expected to be ready before 16 December. Odisha FC will play these fixtures in Pune:
24 November: Odisha FC vs ATK
4 December: Odisha FC vs Bengaluru FC
11 December: Odisha FC vs Hyderabad FC
The team is currently placed at the 6th position and these games are going to be crucial to decide their fate for this campaign.