The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has made it mandatory for clubs to maintain a women’s team as part of the licensing criteria. The apex body is hoping that women’s football would pick up pace exponentially just like the way the youth development programs have done in the past few years.
Women’s football has gathered momentum over the last few years, with the introduction of the IWL (Indian Women’s League) acting as a catalyst. India is also set to host the 2020 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup and also the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup - the biggest event by far on Indian soil. That has seen the All India Football Federation (AIFF) recently announce that it has been made it mandatory for clubs to maintain a women’s team as a part of licensing criteria.
"In our licensing criteria, we have put in a criteria for the clubs that they must have a women's team. Although it's not in the A or B level, at least it's a beginning," said Kushal Das, general secretary of AIFF, during a chat with AIFF TV.
"Hopefully, like our youth development program, which started off slowly, then picked up the pace and is now doing quite well, the same thing will happen with women's football and more and more clubs will field teams in our national competition -- the Hero IWL," added the official.
The clubs licensing criteria is very essential for teams participating in AIFF and AFC accredited tournaments. With the Indian Super League granted a direct spot to the AFC Champions League from this season, apart from two AFC Cup spots, the licensing becomes even more vital for the bigger clubs in the country. Gokulam Kerala FC is the only I-League club to field a women's team in the last three editions of the IWL.