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Need for Women’s National League underpinned

AFC Women’s Assistance Programme (WAP)

AFC Women’s Assistance Programme (WAP)

The importance of having a Women’s Football League was underlined and proper planning for the same in detail was discussed at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Assistance Programme (WAP) focusing on development of Women’s Football in the Country, at the AIFF Football House on Tuesday.

The meeting was attended by Teo Chwee Lian Julie, Head of Women’s Development (Technical Division) and Fan Yunjie, Co opted Member, AFC Technical Committee (AFC Coaching Instructor). It shed light on the perennial issues of Football for the fairer sex in the Country like proper infrastructure, Women Coaches, more number of Competitions, the need for proper Marketing of Women’s Football and other related issues.

Apart from the AFC delegates, Dr. Mukesh Saggar, Vice Chairperson, Women’s Committee; Syed Shaheen, Delhi Soccer Association Secretary; Anju Luthra (DSA), and National Team Players Aditi Chauhan, Swati Rawat and former Indian Player Disha Malhotra also took part in the discussion.

Stressing on the importance of having a Women’s National League, Fan Yunjie said: “A Women’s National League is the platform where all Players from across the Country gets a chance to showcase her talent.”

“It is imperative that a National League, like for Men’s is happening every year. This is where Women’s Football will grab the eyeballs and give it the much needed fillip.”

According to the four-year plan charted out by the National Team Department in the meeting, a dedicated Women’s National League is expected to take centrestage by 2015.

“We are hopeful of organizing a National League for Women in the year 2015,” National Teams Director Shubhankar Mukherjee informed.

“We at AIFF understand the importance of a Women’s League and how like the I-League it can attract all interested parties to Women’s Football. We are working towards it.”

The necessity of having at least one Female Coach on board for any age-group Team while travelling for International or even National Competitions, was also pointed out.

“At the AFC we put a lot of importance to this aspect,” Julei Teo maintained.

“It is very important to have at least one Female Coach on board for any International or National Tournaments,” she added.

Taking note of the advice, Mukherjee assured that the matter will be taken by seriously by not only the National Teams but also all State Associations.

“We will surely pass on the message to our Competitions Department to spread the word across all State Associations,” the Director assured.

Pushpargha Chatterjee, Manager, Coach Education, AIFF informed that “we have reserved one slot for Female Participant in every Coaching Course across the pyramid – that is from D to A Certificate courses.”

Mukherjee leaned on Maria Rebello’s path breaking feat of becoming the first Women Referee to officiate in an I-League match last season to put forward the message that, “We are slowly making progress in other fronts also like Refereeing, and Coaching for Women.”

Both Teo and Yunjie lauded the initiatives and said that more workshops should take place for the development of Women’s Football which will also provide the Female Players with something to look forward to in the field of Refereeing or Coaching after they call it quits on the pitch.

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)