Indian Women's League 2020 to Start on January 24: Know the Teams Confirmed to Be Participating
The Indian Women's League will take place in Bengaluru from January 24 to February 14.
IWL 2018-19 was held in Ludhiana in May earlier this year. (Photo Credit: News18)
New Delhi: The fourth edition of the Indian Women's League (IWL) will start from January 24 at the Bangalore Football Stadium in Bengaluru and the final will take place on February 14. Teams from Manipur, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, West Bengal, Punjab, Karnataka and the Rest of India zones have made it to the final round.
Last year's IWL took place in Ludhiana, Punjab over a span of 18 days after which Sethu FC emerged as the champions with a 3-1 win over Manipur Police SC. A total of 12 teams had participated in the league last year and the number of teams are the same for the upcoming edition as well.
Same as last year, the 12 teams have been divided into 2 groups of 6 teams with each team playing the other once in the group. The top two teams from each group will proceed to the semi-finals.
The tournament will start with Kryphsa of Manipur taking on Kickstart FC of Karnataka at 12:00PM on January 24. All the matches have kick-off timings of 12PM and 3PM IST.
11 teams have been confirmed to participate while Gokulam Kerala FC and FC Alakhpura are set to go head to head in the Rest of India fixture and the winner will take the 12th slot.
Here are all the teams that are confirmed participants:
BBK DAV Football Club (Punjab): The football club is based out of BBK DAV College for Women in Amritsar and are the winners of Punjab Women's League 2019. BBK had participated in the state league last year as well but this year, they emerged victorious undefeated with Anjali Syal being their top scorer with 9 goals. The team is currently playing the All-India Inter-University tournament in Odisha and has advanced to the quarter-finals. BBK has a regular training facility at the college and participate in invitational and inter-college tournaments throughout the year. The team for IWL is set to be the same as the one that played in the Punjab Women's League.
Kickstart FC (Karnataka): Kickstart FC started a women's team in 2019 and in their first-time participation in the Karnataka Women's League, they emerged victorious winning all their six games. The team played the state league with a mix of local players and imports from Manipur and Tamil Nadu. After qualifying for the IWL, Kickstart held trials for the team on January 4, from where they are now in talks to sign Tanvie Hans, who played for Parikrma FC in the state league. Kickstart are also looking to sign national team players and a player or two from Nepal while they aim to retain about 12 from their original squad.
Football Club Kolhapur City (Maharashtra): Kolhapur City qualified for the IWL finishing second in the WIFA Women's Football League. Out of all the confirmed teams, only the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka have two teams representing them while the rest of the states have just one. Kolhapur City had won the state league least season to play their maiden IWL and finishing third in their group with two wins in five matches.
Kangchup Road Young Physical & Sports Association - Kryphsa (Manipur): Kryphsa left behind last year's runners-up Manipur Police SC to qualify for the IWL. The Manipur Women's League was played between four teams and a total of six games were played between them, out of which Kryphsa won five. The only game they lost was the first leg against Manipur Police. Kryphsa boasts of national team players like Ashalata Devi, Dangmei Grace and Ratanbala Devi. Ratanbala was also the top scorer of the state league with nine goals from six games.
Baroda Football Academy (Gujarat): This is Baroda Football Academy's fourth straight appearance in the IWL. They came out on top from the Gujarat Women's League after defeating Patan FC 2-1 on aggregate in the two-legged final. Last year, Baroda FA were placed in the same group as Sethu FC and Manipur Police SC and finished last after failing to win a single match. Baroda FA is one of the few clubs that stays in playing action almost throughout the year by playing friendlies with other clubs and NGOs. The girls of the club also stay in regular practice.
Kenkre FC (Maharashtra): Kenkre FC won the WIFA Women's Football League with an undefeated record - they finished with 13 points from four wins and one draw. This is the first time that Kenkre will be playing in the IWL. Kenkre first played the qualifiers in Maharashtra last season. For this season's qualifiers, Kenkre had a squad with about a 50-50 ratio of local players and outstation players from Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Manipur and Jharkhand. Going into the final round of the IWL, Kenkre are looking to have 60 per cent of local players for which they are also holding trials in Mumbai early next week. Of the outstation players they had for the qualifiers, they expect to retain 30 per cent and are in contact with more players for the final round.
East Coast Railway (Odisha): East Coast Railway won the FAO Women's League, winning four of their eight matches and finishing two points ahead of second-placed Odisha Police. IWL 2017-18 winners Rising Student's Club and last edition's participants from the state, SAI-STC Cuttack finished second-last and last in the league, respectively. The biggest name with East Coast Railway is 2016 AIFF Women's Player of the Year Sasmita Malick.
Bangalore United Football Club (Karnataka): Bangalore United FC finished second in the Karnataka Women's League but have made it to the final round. BUFC were the representatives of Karnataka in the previous edition and finished fifth in their group, winning just one of their five matches. The club's women's team usually plays against boys of the same club every 15 days in order to get some game time. BUFC is coached by former India international PU Chitra.
SSB Women Football Club (West Bengal): SSB Women's FC, which is the departmental team of Sashastra Seema Bal, one of India's Central Armed Police Forces, will be making its second appearance in the IWL. SSB were the semi-finalists last year and had lost 8-1 to eventual winners Sethu FC. From what News18.com has learnt, no women's league took place in West Bengal and SSB made it to the final round from the state based on their credentials from last edition. SSB's biggest name last year was India international Sangita Basfore and she is expected to represent the team this year as well.
Bidesh XI Sports Club (Goa): Goa Women's League was won by new entrants Bidesh XI SC after they won four of their six games and finished six points ahead of second-placed Albert Developers SC. Panjim Footballers, who represented Goa in the last edition did not even field a team this season. Bidesh XI SC were last-minute entrats into the Goa Women's League after FC Goa, Panjim Footballers, Sporting Clube de Goa and Goa Velha Sports Club pulled out citing issues with the draft system. Ansiva was Bidesh's top scorer with five goals from six matches.
Sethu FC (Tamil Nadu): News18.com has learnt that last edition's defending champions Sethu FC have been confirmed as participants in this season's editions even though the Tamil Nadu Women's League is not yet over. The Tamil Nadu Women's League began on December 19 and cannot get over before January 20 but Sethu, who are leading the points table, have been giving a go ahead for the IWL final round. Sethu FC has among their ranks the Indian international Sandhiya and are expected to go for more national team players for the IWL.
REST OF INDIA FIXTURE
The two-legged Rest of India fixture will take place on January 19 and 22, after which either of Gokulam Kerala FC or FC Alakhpura will make it to the final round of the league.
Gokulam Kerala FC (Kerala): This is the only club from both I-League and Indian Super League that has a women's team. Gokulam participated in the IWL for the first team last year and reached the semi-final. Gokulam had a star-studded line-up that included national team players like Dalima Chhibber, Maibam Linthoingambi Devi, Sanju Yadav, Anju Tamang and Manisha Kalyan. Gokulam had lost 2-4 to the eventual runners-up in the semi-final. Since Kerala does not have a women's league, Gokulam will be playing the Rest of India fixture against FC Alakhpura.
Football Club Alakhpura (Haryana): FC Alakhpura is the only women's team from Haryana that plays professionally. Coming from the Alakhpura village, it is a community-based club, which officially got registered with the AIFF in 2017. Alakhpura participated in last year's IWL but finished last in their group, winning only one of their five matches. However, a number of players from Alakhpura go on to play for other teams while some of them have also represented India.
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