India women’s football has better chance of progressing globally: AIFF chief

New Delhi, Sep 2 (PTI) All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Kalyan Chaubey feels the women’s game in the country has a “better chance” to progress in international football and backs the senior team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup with some more effort.

Chaubey, a former India player, completed one year as president of the AIFF and since he took charge, the federation has been making an effort to improve the standard of women’s football.

“I want to make sure that women’s football gets all the facilities that men’s football enjoys in India and truly believe we have a better chance of progressing internationally in women’s football,” Chaubey told the AIFF website.

“Our women’s football team is ahead of our men’s team in terms of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup because the women’s team is ranked 11th in Asia. If we do just a little bit better we can qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“People who have been following Indian Football for decades will say we performed very well internationally in the 1960s-80s and we are not at that level anymore.” India have hosted the U-17 Women’s World Cup and the senior Asian Cup in recent years to give a boost to women’s football in the country.

Chaubey acknowledged there is a gap India will need to cover to become a strong footballing nation.

“There is definitely a gap. In 1950 we got the opportunity to play in the FIFA World Cup in Brazil but for certain reasons, we decided against participating. After that from 1950 till 1986, there was no communication between FIFA and India.

“A national sports federation can only develop if it has good relations with the international body, but we were not linked with FIFA till 1986, which created a gap and we are now working towards closing the gap.” He added, “I’m a little cautious about women’s football in India because there are still many countries that don’t compete in women’s football, just like India was competing in men’s football way before a lot of Asian countries because we were under Britain’s rule.

“But later on we couldn’t keep up with the other countries and fell behind. We do not want to repeat the same mistakes with women’s football and hence want to give special attention to women’s football in India so that we climb up to the rankings in Asia instead of falling back.”

Source: PTI News


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