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Women’s football in India reaches milestone in 2020


The 2022 FIFA U-17 World Cup, 2022 Asian Cup and Project Arrows are the headlines that promise growth for women’s football in India…

2020 was supposed to be a huge year for women’s football in India.

This year, the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup world event was scheduled to take place in India, but the coronavirus pandemic has forced the football institution to change its plans. The World Cup was initially postponed to early 2021, but subsequently canceled due to the practical difficulty of hosting such a large event amid the pandemic.

As host of the U-17 World Cup, India had started its preparations under the guidance of head coach Thomas Dennerby. He called his team for training camps and everything seemed to fall for the young girls before the government was forced to lock down the country.

The national lockdown also meant that all plans for age category leagues and state-level women’s football leagues had to be scrapped. Everyone had to sit at home and train.

But when football had to be stopped on the pitch, some important decisions were made that will benefit women’s football and its progress in India.

Following the cancellation of the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, the Indian Football Federation (AIFF) managed to convince the institution to grant her the right to host the 2022 edition of the Cup. du Monde, which is a fantastic achievement as luck was considered almost lost for a while.

2020 was also the year AFC announced that India had won the hosting rights for the 2022 Women’s Asian Cup in June. Having two big events lined up is a huge boost for women’s football in the country and it could be a turning point for the industry and an encouragement for several new entities to start their own women’s team and the leagues are exploring such avenues.

Switching from tournaments to leagues, AIFF President Praful Patel also announced that the Indian FA’s Project Arrows will now also include a Women’s Indian Arrows team.

Since the 2020 edition of the World Cup had to be canceled and India is hosting the next edition instead, only some of the girls in the current Under-17 World Cup batch would still be eligible. Others will continue to develop their skills through the Arrows project.

“The Indian Football Association had formed an Indian Arrows development team for the boys competing in the I-League. So for the current group of girls who were part of the U17 World Cup squad, we will be forming an Indian Arrows women’s squad that will compete in the Indian Women’s League (IWL). This will help advance girls’ careers, ”the AIFF President said earlier this month.

As the year draws to a close, even without a lot of women’s football on the pitch, with the exception of the IWL which took place in the first two months of the calendar year, some of these important decisions could allow a new wave for women’s football. in the country. Enough words, it’s time to act in 2021.