One of India’s most decorated footballer’s Padma Shri Oinam Bembem Devi wants the Indian Super League and I-League teams to field their women’s team to help improve the pace development.
Only I-League clubs Gokulam Kerala and East Bengal FC have their women’s teams in competition. Gokulam Kerala is the reigning champion of the Indian Women’s League (IWL).
“Clubs play a major role in the development of football which we have seen in the European countries. Similarly, here in India also they can play a role. The women’s team also needs the same importance. Over the years, women’s football has improved. If these clubs can come up with their women’s teams, it will be a huge boost for the game,” Bembem Devi was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
“More teams mean more players will get to play. More matches will help in growing the players’ confidence. To form a women’s team and participate in the leagues is very difficult. As these clubs already have their own set-up, it becomes easier for them to form a women’s team and march ahead,” she added.
The former midfielder, who is the most capped player for India, welcomed the AIFF’s move to reduce the number foreign players in the playing XI in I-League from five to four.
“I have always believed that reducing the number of foreign players will facilitate Indian players with opportunities to play more games and improve. Quality foreign players, but less in number on the field, will be helpful for the local guys to compete with them and grow. I am really happy with this development,” she added.
The AIFF executive committee recently decided to implement the three (non-Asians) plus one (Asian) foreigner rule for the I-League from 2020-21 season.