Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Delhi Dynamos have relocated from New Delhi to Bhubaneswar and have been renamed as Odisha FC. The franchise has been playing at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the national capital for the past five years.
The development comes after DD owners Delhi Soccer Private Limited penned a formal agreement with the Sports & Youth Services Department of the Odisha government in the presence of state Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday.
Speaking on the decision of moving the club, owner of the franchise and the President and founding CEO of GMS Leadership, Anil Sharma said, “It hurts 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 the 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,” he added.
Rohan Sharma, Director, Delhi Dynamos FC said: “Irrespective of where we play from, our vision is to make India a superpower in global football. While the club will relocate to Odisha, we will continue nurturing talent via academy and soccer schools in Delhi NCR as well, thereby providing a path to top-level football.”
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.
Speaking about the announcement, Patnaik said, “I congratulate and extend a warm welcome to Odisha FC and Indian Super League. It is a significant development towards the 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.”