Ms. Sara Pilot chaired the AIFF Women’s Football Committee Meeting held via video conferencing today (Wednesday, June 9, 2021).
All India Footballl Federation General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das, and Deputy General Secretary Mr. Abhishek Yadav were present in the meeting, along with other members – Ms. Sudeshna Mukherjee, Ms. Shabana Rabbani, Ms. Anjali Shah, Ms. Madhureemaraje Chhatrapati and Ms. Shama Mohamed.
The Committee discussed the challenges faced by women’s football due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and tried to come up with plans for the different issues thrown in the path of women’s football in India due to the pandemic.
Welcoming everyone to the online Women’s Committee Meeting, Ms. Sara Pilot said: “This cannot be business as usual, as it would be wrong of us to not take cognizance of what’s happening around us. We have made massive strides in women’s football, and keeping that in mind that the women’s football movement has always been much more about social change, than being a money generator.”
General Secretary Mr. Das averred: “I am confident that we have overcome the worst part of the second wave. The Government plans to vaccinate everyone by the end of this year. Maybe we can push forward and find more answers.”
Deputy General Secretary Mr. Yadav apprised the committee about the AIFF’s plans to keep both the India U-17 Women’s Team and the Senior Women’s Team in top shape, while they are isolating in their respective homes.
Furthermore, he also informed about plans to start a training camp for the teams, for which the federation has also been in talks with the State Government of Jharkhand.
“We are in the process of discussions with the Jharkhand Government to kick-start the National Team camp for the women, and we will do so as soon as we get an approval from the MYAS,” said Mr. Yadav. “We are also in talks to try and get the players vaccinated. As soon as that can happen, we can get the camp underway.”
The upcoming FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, both of which are set to be held in India next year, were also discussed, as the General Secretary informed the Committee that the AIFF has planned to submit its proposals for the bio bubble and how it plans to secure the travel of the players and the teams from one city to another, for these tournaments.
The Committee also discussed, in detail about the viability of hosting the fifth edition of the Hero Indian Women’s League, which was scheduled to be held in Odisha, in April and May, this year. The new timelines for the same are to be finalised after analysing the pandemic situation across the country.
In the event that the fifth edition cannot be held, the champions of the fourth edition of the Hero IWL are to be nominated to the AFC Women’s Club Championship 2021.
The Golden Baby Leagues and Grassroots development of Women’s Football was also a topic of discussion in the Committee Meeting, as the members discussed how girls could be further encouraged to take up the sport, while continuing their education, to ensure overall development.