AIFF abolishes minimum wage rule in Indian Women's League

As per the previous AIFF mandate, the top seven clubs in the IWL have to have at least ten Indian players with annual contracts worth a minimum of Rs 3.2 lakh. The IWL 2023-24 season will kick off on December 8.

Update: 2023-10-15 12:34 GMT

Gokulam Kerala in Indian Women's League. (Source: AIFF)

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has decided to do away with the minimum wage rule policy in the Indian Women's League (IWL).

The decision was taken by the AIFF's women's committee after a meeting on Saturday.

As per the previous AIFF mandate, the top seven clubs in the IWL have to have at least ten Indian players with annual contracts worth a minimum of Rs 3.2 lakh. The old rule would have helped 80 Indian players earn at least the minimum salary mandated by the AIFF per season.

But from the upcoming season, starting on December 8, the clubs will not have to follow such a rigid rule. They can pay the players as per their capacities. In the league opener, defending champion Gokulam Kerala FC will host Sethu FC in Kozhikode.

The IWL, which will be played in a home and away format for the first time, will also receive a subsidy of Rs 25 lakh.

“There are a lot of financial constraints for clubs running women’s football teams and they don’t have sponsors. We decided that the clubs are free to pay what they feel. If they can’t pay 10 players the minimum wage, it’s fine. It’s not mandatory. There is a lot of cost involved, particularly when it comes to safety of women footballers," Valanka Alemao, chairperson of AIFF’s women’s committee, was quoted as saying by Times of India.

“For the first time, the league will be played on a home and away basis. There is financial subsidy for the clubs and a second division IWL, besides the U-13, U-15 and U-17 Khelo India girls football leagues. We are expecting women’s football to get a significant boost with all the new measures,” Valanka added.

The AIFF women's committee also recommended the appointment of a psychologist for the age-group national teams.

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