AIFF WOMEN FOOTBALL LEAGUE - 2016
6 teams Final Round Women Football League from 28th Jan
24.01.2017: AIFF PRESS RELEASE : All India Football Federation (AIFF), the governing body of the sport in the country today (January 24, 2017) launched the first ever Women's Professional League which is to be contested among six Teams.
All matches of the two-week Indian Women's League (IWL) will be played at Delhi's Ambedkar Stadium with the first match scheduled for Saturday, January 28. Besides AIFF President Shri Praful Patel and Minister of State (I/C) Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel, representatives from the six Teams, as well as Ms. Sakshi Malik were present on the occasion.
The six participating teams -- FC Alakhpura (Haryana), Jeppiaar Institute of Technology FC (Puducherry), Aizawl FC (Mizoram), FC Pune City (Maharashtra), Rising Student Club (Odisha) and Eastern Sporting Union (Manipur) would play each other in a round-robin format with the top four teams advancing to the semifinals.
Sharing his thoughts on the occasion Shri. Praful Patel, President, AIFF, said: Our women's team is ranked 54 in the world which is higher than the men's ranking of 129 which means that for the upcoming FIFA women's World Cup in 2019, if we put in the right effort our Women's team will have an outside chance of qualifying for the world cup before the men. This in itself is a huge achievement.'
'This is a beginning for the women's game in the country. We are starting with six teams and hope to expand it to 16 by next year. This gives our women footballers the option to take it up as a career. I wish all the teams the very best and may the best team win,' he added. Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri. Vijay Goel lauded the AIFF for launching IWL which he felt will “inspire the women footballers of the country to work towards a goal.'
He further added, 'Since my dear friend Mr. Praful Patel is heading the football federation I expect Indian football to progress at a greater pace. This is a momentous occasion and today women are ahead of men in every field. I hope our women footballers will also earn greater laurels for the country. Whatever help is required from the Government and sports ministry, we shall ensure that all help is provided.'
20 Teams from across 9 states had taken part in the first leg of the qualifiers from which 9 Teams qualified for the IWL prelims which were held in Cuttack in October 2016.
Dalima Chibber (FC Pune City), Oinam Bembem Devi (ESUFC), Sasmita Malik (Rising Student FC), Sanju Yadav (FC Alakhpura), Sumithra Kamaraj (Jeppiar Institute FC) and K. Lalruaizeli (Aizawl FC) represented their respective Teams at the launch.
14.10.2016: AIFF PRESS RELEASE : 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. Mr. 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 www.the-aiff.com.
"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 www.the-aiff.com.
“Besides, this will also provide motivation for many young girls who are currently part of our GR Programmes across India.” The 10 Teams who have been divided into two Groups are as follows:
Group A : Royal Wahingdoh FC (Meghalaya), Alakhpura FC (Haryana), Rising Student FC (Odisha), New Quartz FC (Kerala) and Bodyline FC (WIFA).
Group B : Eastern Sporting Union FC (Manipur), KRYPHSA FC (Manipur), Jeppiyar Institute FC (Pondicherry), Sudeva Moonlight FC (Delhi) and UPFC (Uttar Pradesh).