Women footballers’ time to shine: Renewed vigour, high hopes. There is no shortage of sports talent in Delhi – you need the right training and the stadium. And the proof of this is the Women’s League, which will allow women footballers from clubs in Delhi, as well as across India, to showcase their strengths and talents. After a year of almost no games that could in between the epidemic, players are looking forward to the event with renewed vigor.
‘Develop and motivate women towards Football’
Shaji Prabhakaran who is the Football Delhi president said that the players have been out of action for almost a year. If everything is open, why not continue with football, adding that it was important to restart football activities following all Covid-19 agreements and safety measures. Prabhakaran added saying that they have been working to get everyone involved in sport and the Women’s League will allow the best female athletes from government to have the opportunity to showcase their talents and play at the national and national level. Competitions like this help to dispel traditional minds who believe that girls cannot play football, and give them the strength and motivation.
‘Delhi football culture has grown’
Players at various urban clubs have set themselves to compete in the Women’s League, with practices being organized through various stadiums throughout the Capital. Age is not a bar – teams with young players as young as 15! Dhwani Kitchlue said that a member of Hans Women’s Football Club started playing school, ten years ago; there were a handful of female players and 6 clubs. But 21 clubs are witnessing a growing culture of football in Delhi, both at clubs and at school and college level.
‘Lack of money, epidemic affects practice’
Vikrant Singh Baswara, the coach of the Growing Star Football women’s club, says that although the league’s planning is a welcome step, the epidemic has left players unprepared. He said that many clubs, which were able to use the school grounds before, would not be able to practice regularly during the epidemic. In addition, there is a lack of money in football, especially women’s soccer, which is also preventing many players from joining clubs if they charge higher training fees.
Players from other provinces in the league: The bench is divided
Each team in the Women’s League is allowed to field an estimated 25 players, where players from other provinces can be transferred to play for the Delhi team. Nagendra Singh, coach of Hans Womens FC says this aspect of the league is not appropriate. He said that the league is planning to promote football in Delhi, so bringing in players from other provinces is against the will. This is an amateur unit, not a professional player.
But David Jones, owner of Royal Rangers Football Club, disagrees and jokes, “Foreign players who play for the club can always take part. But most clubs use other players, only the league. This is not good for permanent players, who may miss out on the opportunity to participate in the league. ”
Hope for government funding, better rewards
Prabhakaran says that in order for football to really grow in the city, and in the country as a whole, we need more government support. He added saying that they have no sponsors but we have kept the prize money of ₹ 50,000 for league winners, ₹ 25,000 for run ups, and ₹ 10,000 each in third and fourth place. But we need great incentives to make this game an independent financial means for players.