The AIFF just recently announced the Indian Women’s League to show its solidarity in improving the state of women’s football in the nation. Yesterday, the final match of the first season of Indian Women’s League ended up with Manipur (Eastern Sporting Union) emerging winners against the Rising Student’s Club of Odisha by 3-0.
Manipur’s contribution towards the sport
Manipur has been a state where women football is relatively most popular amongst the crowd and also sees most participation. In the last two decades, Manipur has been responsible for providing the national women’s football team with some great players — (Grace Danmai, Oinam Bembem Devi).
In the last 21 editions of the national championships, Manipur has won 17 titles, and has made to finals of 20 of those matches.
With the advent of a league, it definitely looks like the sport can be taken to new levels of greatness with the help of regular practice and dedication. It remains important that this dedication come not just from the team, but the administration too. AIFF’s move of launching the IWL will definitely invite more investors who would be willing to promote women in sports.
Some key statistics on our women’s team
- India is ranked 54th among 177th active nations in the latest FIFA rankings
- India ranks 12th among Asian Football Confederation (AFC) nations. Five nations that have a huge lead on us are Australia, Japan, China, Korea and Chinese Taipei.
- Nations that still have to catch up to India’s ranking: Hong Kong (has had a league since 1986), Kyrgyzstan (began a six-league team in 2005), Iraq (concluded their first Women’s Premier League in 2015-16)
(Source of the stats: ESPN)
With increase in awareness, it sure seems to be a good time to take women’s football in India to new heights.