What stood out at a women’s football match between Cequin and Magic Bus at Jamia Sports Complex on Monday was Guest of Honour, FIFA Consultant for Women’s Football, Ms Monika Staab’s overwhelming enthusiasm.
The reason though was crystal clear the moment she came forward to speak to the newsmen. “I did not realise India had such a vast potential in women’s football. This is so refreshing and I am very impressed. Their history is older than that of Germany. When Indian women started playing football the Germans were much more conservative and could not think of the women taking up the sport. So the tradition itself shows the path,” an animated Staab quipped.
“Look at the FIFA rankings of Indian Women. It’s 52 among 175 nations whereas the men are in 168th among 209 countries. So the women are better than the men! And given the talent and enthusiasm that I’ve witnessed over the last five days of my stay here, the girls can go places! You need to provide them with the right kind of infrastructure,” added the German.
Assuring that her enthusiasm would reap dividends, Staab said: “They need the FIFA recommendation and I will do that. I promise to do my best as I never expected such a huge base here in this part of the world. I am highly impressed and can see Indian Women’s football going forward.”
Staab also praised The All India Football Federation for its backing of the Women’s Team adding that investing more on the eves would be very beneficial. “I feel if the federation invests more on the eves who are the moment in a very good position in FIFA Rankings, the team can go places. They need the financial support, FIFA’s backing and proper infrastructure.”
Further explaining her point, Staab continued: “See in Women’s football there is not a lot of money. You cannot become a Messi or a Ronaldo. Thus financial support is very much needed to sustain the beautiful game among the women. It is the passion that drives you forward and here in India I see the passion among women.”
(AIFF Press Release)