The preliminary round of the inaugural edition of the Indian Women’s League 2016-17 will kick-off in Cuttack on October 17, 2016. Ten teams across the country will lock horns to qualify for the National Finals which will be held later.
The teams have been divided into two groups and the top finisher from each group will earn a ticket to the Finals.
Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF termed it as a “historical moment” for Indian football, let alone the Women Footballers.
“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. 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,” he told AIFF Media.
“Indeed 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.”
AIFF Technical Director Scott O’Donell felt that the league will enable the girls to “foresee a career ahead.”
“The women Footballers will feel the urge to prove themselves as they can foresee a career ahead. The youngsters who used to look up to Bembem Devi, Aditi Chauhan and others are being given the platform to prove their worth. A professional league is always needed to sustain a player’s career and that’s what has been planned,” he stated to AIFF Media.
“Besides, this will also provide motivation for many young girls who are currently part of our Grassroots Programmes across India.”
The ten teams who have been divided into two Groups are as follows:
Royal Wahingdoh FC (Meghalaya), Alakhpura FC (Haryana), Rising Student FC (Odisha), New Quartz FC (Kerala), Bodyline FC (WIFA)
Eastern Sporting Union FC (Manipur), KRYPHSA FC (Manipur), Jeppiyar Institute FC (Pondicherry), Sudeva Moonlight FC (Delhi), UPFC (Uttar Pradesh)
(Report & Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)