Other than cricket, all sports struggle to find recognition in India; especially women’s teams. But yesterday, the All India Football Federation (AIFF), along with FIFA, inaugurated a three-day long Women’s Football Regional Development Seminar and India Development Workshop to develop women’s football in the region.
The seminar saw 100 participants from eleven South Asian nations including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and 41 International delegates from many South Asian countries, according to a report by FIFA.com.
During the seminar, AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das, gave a presentation, titled ‘Strategy and Key Priorities 2015-2018.’ He laid out plans for developing Women’s Football in the next four years according to the AIFF Strategic Plan 2014-17 in India. He also said, “Developing Women’s Football means not only on the field but off it too. Social development, respect for Women are also issues that need to be dealt with. Unfortunately in India we don’t see a lot of respect for Women and that mindset needs to change for the sport to develop.”
[Picture Credits: FIFA.com]
Mr. Das added, “Among the 13 strategic goals in the Strategic Plan, Women’s Football is right up there. By 2017 we aim to be among the top 8 in Asia which is realistically very much possible,” according to a report by Indian Football Network. At the seminar, AIFF Senior Vice President Subrata Dutta announced that she was proud that India is the first country to host Seminar for Women in Asia.
According to another report by Z News India, AIFF President Praful Patel said, “Women’s football is of key importance in the development of football all over the world and in India. We have given special focus to the development of women’s game by including it as a special strategic goal in our Strategic Plan 2014-2017, which was launched by the Secretary General of FIFA.”