AIFF assures development path after U-17 FIFA Women’s World Cup | Football News – SportsMediaz


The All India Football Federation (AIFF) assured the U-17 women players who begin their FIFA World Cup campaign on Tuesday that they would be provided a development path beyond the global event.

AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey on Saturday assured the under-17 girls, who begin their FIFA World Cup campaign on October 11 that they won’t be left in the wilderness after the global event and will instead be absorbed by federation’s development plans.

The AIFF technical committee shut down the men’s Indian Arrows project last month. The women’s development programme began last year. Earlier this year, the Indian Arrows girls debuted at the Indian Women’s League (IWL).

“The junior girls’ programme that began last year will continue. We won’t scrap any of the girls’ projects. We shall try and revive some tournaments and introduce some new ones. We understand the need to provide a proper pathway to the girls once the U-17 World Cup is over. We will have a regular junior calendar and these girls will have a chance to play the IWL,” AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey told a news conference.

He also promised to end the pay gap between the men’s and women’s teams. “The disparity in terms of remuneration is very unfortunate. We’ll speak to all corporate stakeholders, even the government if needed, to ensure it is addressed.”

India, in Group A, play US (Oct 11), Morocco (Oct 14) and Brazil (Oct 17), in Bhubaneswar. The top two will qualify for the quarter-finals. It will be a huge challenge for the hosts.

“It’s no excuse, but we were hit hard by Covid. The tournament itself was delayed by two years, which means the entire squad needed to be changed. Scouting was limited to only a few states. We feel we may have missed several other talented girls because they couldn’t turn up for trials due to Covid. (But) I can guarantee that our girls will play out of their skin.”

This is the seventh edition of the tournament. Spain are the holders while North Korea have won the title twice.

Chaubey defended shifting the Santosh Trophy knockouts to Saudi Arabia next year. The AIFF has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saudi Arabia to this effect.

“It is an ambitious venture for someone who has been in office for barely 40 days. I am grateful that my proposal has been accepted by the Saudi football federation. I feel this will offer great exposure to our youngsters. Santosh Trophy is a revered tournament but has lost its sheen in the past decade. With this move, I am sure youngsters will be motivated to play Santosh Trophy. We plan to try this for three years, and then depending on the results, we’ll take a call,” he said.

As per the MoU, India and Saudi Arabia will hold two three-nation tournaments each year for under-17 and under-19 teams (currently for junior boys).

“Each tournament will allow you six games. During summers, we’ll hold it in India, preferably in the northeast or in Bengaluru, and in Indian winters, it’ll go to the Gulf. As of now, it will be only for the boys but we shall soon have it for girls as well.” he said.


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