With India ready to host its second-ever FIFA tournament - the U-17 Women’s World Cup next year, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is leaving no stones unturned in its preparations. On the roadmap to bolster the squad for the World Cup, AIFF has decided to incept a U-17 Women’s League for the upcoming 2019-20 season as the apex body aims to recruit a new set of players ahead of the mega event.
AIFF has already experimented with the format, staging the senior Indian Women’s League (IWL) and its success has paved the way for the new league. The first season of IWL started way back in 2016 with six teams and earlier this year it completed its third edition.
The tournament would be played on City/State/Zonal rounds depending on the number of teams registered and fulfilment of licensing criteria. The initial/zonal rounds are slated to start sometime in September and get over by October 31.
Led by gaffer and ex-India player Alex Ambrose, assisted by former women’s captain and legend Oinam Bem Devi, the young Indian eves had shown tremendous potential and is a testament to India’s rich pool of football talent. The players recruited through the U-15 National Football Championship went on to play the second edition of the SAFF U-15 Women's Championship in Bhutan earlier in the year where they were crowned champions.
Now, with the U-17 world cup around the corner, Alex Ambrose feels the U-17 league is a perfect springboard to reinforce the team, which in turn will be a stepping stone for India to stake its claim as a rising football powerhouse.