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Kalinga Stadium likely to host World Cup qualifier against Qatar in March 2020

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The Blue Tigers' next home game is against Bangladesh in Kolkata on October 15.

The Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha is the likely candidate to host the Indian national team's game against Asian champions Qatar in March next year, Khel Now understands.

It has been only two days since Igor Stimac's men held Qatar to a famous goalless draw at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha. The draw came as a positive result for the Blue Tigers and their supporters, after their 1-2 loss against Oman in their first 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier and especially, because the result came without their talismanic leader, Sunil Chhetri.

Odisha has been a sporting hub of the country lately after hosting the Men's Hockey World Cup last year. They have also bagged the hosting rights of the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship in Cuttack. While the Kalinga Stadium was the first ground which got approval to host the upcoming 2020 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.

To add to all of that, now the state will also have a new Indian Super League franchise after Delhi Dynamos decided to shift their base to Odisha. The stadium has also hosted the Super Cup successfully for two successive years.

Odisha is a state which has a sporting culture and has always backed their teams in various sports and Stimac and his men will hope that their support can help them script another historic outcome against the reigning Asian champions, this time at home.

Currently, the Indian national team players have returned to their respective clubs and will carry forward their pre-season regime as the Indian Super League season is also on its way in October.

Adding to that, the Blue Tigers will be back in action for their third 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying match against Bangladesh at the Salt Lake Stadium, which had also hosted the final of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup between England and Spain.



Published: Thu Sep 12, 2019 01:36 PM IST

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