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Kushal Das - 'AIFF plans to set up a new women's league'

09:01 GMT+3 22/03/2019
Kushal Das AIFF General Secretary
With the women's U17 World Cup being hosted by India next year, there is a lot of focus on preparing a competitive team from the Indian FA...

In what was ground-breaking news for women's football in India, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) was granted hosting rights for the 2020 U-17 Women's World Cup.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced the same last Friday at the governing body's council meeting held in Miami, USA.

Not only does it raise the profile of India in terms of preparedness and capability to host major footballing events, it also throws the women's game into the spotlight. Like how the India participated in the men's U17 World Cup in 2017, the women's team will also be granted automatic entry to the tournament.

The AIFF are leaving no stone unturned in their bid to field a competitive side for the tournament, as per General Secretary Kushal Das. He feels that the focus should be on the team rather than developing the infrastructure since the same is already in place, thanks to the men's 2017 U17 World Cup which India hosted.

"First, we have to develop the team. The infrastructure is already in place. That is not a concern," he told Goal. "Starting with the national women's championship, we will start scouting players.

"We also have plans of setting up a new league and we will be talking to various stakeholders regarding the same."

Das also stated that the federation is looking to take a similar approach to setting up the women's U17 team as they did with the men's U17 team before the 2017 edition, wherein the team was groomed right from the age of 14 or 15.

"We need to do something like we did before the U17 men's World Cup, by setting up U14 and U16 teams. The biggest challenge is to set up a competitive team. As far as operational and venue management is concerned, we are happy with that."

This will be India's first appearance across any age group at the women's World Cup.