The very first round of the very first Indian Women’s Football League will kick off in Cuttack on Monday, October 17th.
The league will have 10 teams from across the country who will be competing to qualify for the national finals, which most likely will be held a few months later. The teams have been split into two groups and the winner of each group earns a direct qualification to the national finals.
With stars like Aditi Chauhan, Tanvi Hans and Bembem Devi, women’s football in India has been steadily gaining popularity all over the country. In fact, compared to the men’s team (the competition is admittedly on a different level, but still) the Indian women’s team are ranked 57th in the world compared to the men’s team which is 148th in the FIFA rankings. But still, women’s football doesn’t haveAthe same power and hold that the men’s team has, but over the years that seems to have changed a lot. Many a time, these changesAare not noticed by the ones that need to notice but that clearly doesn’t seem to be the case.
As Kushal Das, the general secretary of the AIFF said, ‘Promotion of women’s football stays on our priority list at All India Football Federation, and this league is going to further enhance our process.’ He further added that ‘Our primary aim is to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup 2018 and the league will offer the perfect platform for our women footballers to showcase their talent.
Youngsters and India’s future who have looked up to players like Aditi Chauhan, Tavi Hans and many others, will finally get a chance to show what they are made of. A league like this, the Indian Women’s League is exactly what the doctor ordered and it will also help legthen their careers as wells as give them a foundation for international matches.
Das finished with ‘This is a historical moment for Indian football. There have been quite a few women footballers who have plied their trade abroad in the recent past. But with our own Indian Women’s League coming up the ecosystem will be more sustainable and fool proof’
The 10 teams which have been divided into two groups of five are:
Group I: Royal Wahingdoh FC (Meghalaya), Alakhpura FC (Haryana), Rising Student FC (Odisha), New Quartz FC (Kerala) and Bodyline FC (WIFA).
Group II: Eastern Sporting Union FC (Manipur), KRYPHSA FC (Manipur), Jeppiyar Institute FC (Pondicherry), Sudeva Moonlight FC (Delhi) and UPFC (Uttar Pradesh).