The All India Football Federation (AIFF), on Sunday, announced that the Indian Women’s League (IWL) playoffs have been postponed until further notice due to the rising coronavirus cases all over the country. The playoffs were supposed to be held in Delhi from April 7-14 but now, there is no certainty on when these games will held or whether they will be held. Nine teams were slated to play in the qualifiers namely, Travancore FC (Kerala), MM Football Club (Punjab), Shirsh Bihar United FC, Sethu FC (Tamil Nadu), Techtro Swades United FC (Himachal Pradesh), Barwani FC (Madhya Pradesh), BBK DAV (Punjab), Gokulam Kerala FC and Mata Rukmani FC (Chattisgarh).
The Indian Women’s League is slated to be held in Bhubaneswar and reportedly from April 21. With the Covid cases rising and the playoffs being postponed, the fate of the IWL comes under scanner as well.
“After internal discussions and communication with the clubs and State Associations, and keeping in mind the safety and security of players and officials in view of the rise in covid19 cases all over the country, the playoffs for the Hero Indian Women’s League scheduled to be held in Delhi from April 7, 2021 has been postponed until further notice. We once again urge the State Associations conducting competitions to take utmost precautions relating to the health and safety of the players," AIFF said in its statement.
Various states have held state leagues in order to qualify for the IWL while the WIFA Women’s Football League in Maharashtra is still ongoing. The Football Delhi Women’s League is also scheduled to be held till April 14.
Here are the winners of the various state leagues:
Bihar - Rani Laxmi Bai Sports Academy, Siwan
However, due to lack of funds and registration of players, according to sources, Shirsh Bihar United FC (finished fourth in the 5-team league) made the playoffs. Each team in the league played four games.
Goa - Sirvodem SC
Initially AIFF had intimated the Goa Football Association that the winner of their state league will make the playoffs and not the final round. However, GFA spoke to AIFF and got Sirvodem the final round spot. The teams played eight games each.
Gujarat - Kingstar Academy
Kingstar beat Patan FC in the final to make the final round of the IWL. All the teams in the league were divided into two group - one of 4 and the other of 5. Group 1 teams played three games each while Group 2 teams played four games each. Four teams made the Super League stage where each team played three games. Kingstar and Patan made the final and played a game more.
Himachal Pradesh - Techtro Swades United FC
Techtro won the league and made the playoffs. Each team in the league played six games.
Karnataka - Kickstart Women’s FC
Kickstart won the league after ending up with three more points than Maatru Pratishtana FC. With 10 teams in the league, each of them played nine games.
Madhya Pradesh - Barwani FC
Barwani won the Super League stage and made the playoffs. Atal FC were disqualified and hence, all the remaining five teams had four games each in the league stage. In the Super League stage, four teams played three game each.
Manipur - Eastern Sporting Union
ESU won the Manipur Women’s League ending up with five more points than second-placed YWC. The teams played five games each.
Odisha - Rising Student’s Club
Rising Student’s Club won the six-team league, where they all played 10 games each. Rising beat East Coast Railway on goal difference.
Pondicherry - Indira Gandhi Academy of Sports and Education
IGASE won the six-team league, where two teams played 10 games each while the rest had nine games each. IGASE had a total of 30 points, 11 points more than the second-placed Jeppiaar Institute of Technology FC. However, due to logistical and monetary issues plus Covid-19 fears, IGASE pulled out of the playoffs.
Punjab - The league was stopped midway due to Covid cases after each of the four teams had played three games.
Tamil Nadu - Sethu FC
Sethu FC won the league where they and second-placed SDAT Excellence Club played seven games each. Tamil Nadu Police played only two games while FC Thamizhatchi and Wow Women’s FC played only four games each.