As part of its commitment to the growth of women's football, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has made it mandatory for clubs to have a women's team as part of the licensing criteria, the sports body's general secretary Kushal Das said on Saturday, July 18.
"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," Das said in an AIFF release.
"Hopefully, like our youth development program, which started off slowly, then picked up 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(Indian Women's League)" he added.
India is set to host the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup next year and the AFC Women's Asian Cup in 2022, giving momentum to women's football in the country.
"I think clubs should realise that women's football is a very important area. There is a lot of focus from the federation on women's football. I think the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2021 will help (in that regard) as will the AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022," Das said.
"But, the clubs should understand that it is important to focus on women's football and have a team playing in the Hero IWL," he added.
The IWL completed its fourth edition in the 2019-20 season and saw 12 teams compete in the final round.Also Read: Valentina Sampaio Becomes First Transgender Model In Sports Illustrated, Creates History