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Dalima Chhibber Calls for Development of 'Culture' for Upliftment of Women's Football

Dalima Chhibber (Photo Credit: @DalimaChhibber)

Dalima Chhibber (Photo Credit: @DalimaChhibber)

Indian women's football team member Dalima Chhibber said girl's football has to be encouraged at club, school and college level for overall improvement.

Indian women's football team member Dalima Chhibber called for "better culture" in Delhi in order to develop women's football in the state and eventually the country.

Chhibber said that things were better than what they were when she started playing but said there was still much distance to cover.

"We need to develop the culture of girl's football at the club level as well as school and college level. Participation of girls in football have significantly grown in Delhi in the last few years and with new competitions more girls will be encouraged to play football which was not the case when I started to play football in Delhi," Dalima Chhibber said at Football Delhi's e-summit.

Football Delhi organised the e-summit in celebration of the Delhi Football Day, which is marked by the birthday of the Indian men's football team captain Sunil Chhetri.

Football Delhi has been organising the Golden League for the past two years, which focuses on bringing in young girls to play alongside boys for the development of the skillset of both parties.

The organisers also encourage teams to have more girls in the team by providing more points to the ones with more number of girls.

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All India Football Federation's Sara Pilot said the improved focus and Football Delhi's proactiveness was something the other state associations must adopt.

The head of FIFA's women's football competitions Sara Booth said hosting the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in 2021 can help boost the game in the country.

Booth said Delhi will feel the "positive impact" of hosting a World Cup and lauded the state association's collaborative effort with the national federation to improve infrastructure for women's development.

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Women's football can only develop if it got "equal opportunity" like the men and Sweden's Under-23 national coach Yvonne Ekroth said a level-playing field was the only way forward.

That women needed to create space for themselves in both administration and coaching was emphasized by Lauren Duncan, the manager of the national team of South Africa.

"The condition of women's football in South Africa is pretty similar to India. We need more females in administration and coaching to provide a more comfortable environment to players," said Duncan.

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