Under-17 World Cup will change the mindset about women’s football in India- Bala Devi

NEW DELHI: The Indian Women’s Team’s prolific striker Bala Devi feels that the forthcoming FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2022 will bring in a fresh change in Indian parents’ mind-set about motivating their daughters to embrace the beautiful game.

“Earlier, we didn’t see many girls play football. Now, the numbers have gone up significantly. In the FIFA U-17 World Cup, more girls from various countries will come to India and our girls will get an opportunity to rub shoulders with the world’s best. That will help change the overall mind-set,” the Rangers Women FC forward explained during a freewheeling AIFF TV chat.

In another effort to take Indian Football forward together, the All India Football Federation is at the cusp of hosting the second FIFA World Cup in five years in India, and the 30-year-old striker feels that it will help the country “shine” on a global stage.

“It (FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup) will make India shine brighter. All the boys who played in FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017, are competing in the top tier league now. I believe it will be a great opportunity for our girls to get noticed internationally, let alone in India,” stated Bala.

She even recalled how she was criticised for playing football but her father, who himself was a state-level footballer, defied the flak to help her attain her dream of being a footballer.

“I used to play with the local boys initially. Many people started talking about my playing and started criticising me. My father was a footballer and he used to motivate me always. Even today, he is my go-to person for any kind of football query, however silly it may be,” said the 30-year-old.

“He taught me to think about football 24/7 and even sleep with a ball in the bed. Sometimes, I even kicked in the middle of sleep and that’s how the passion grew within me. I would request all the parents to encourage and back their children so they can attain their dream,” she maintained.

Shri Praful Patel, President, AIFF and Shri Kiren Rijiju, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports interacted with the current U-17 Women’s National team and laid down a detailed plan for the days to come. Bala lauded the efforts to strengthen the resolve of the young footballers.

“Patel-sir has always worked hard to elevate Indian Football in the continent. Earning the hosting rights of the U-17 World Cup for men and women has put India in an admirable position in the continent nevertheless,” she continued. “His plans for the current U-17 batch underlines the long-term planning of AIFF for women’s football and I want to sincerely thank Praful sir for his constant support to women’s football.”

As mentioned by the president, some of the girls may find a place in the next U-17 women’s team who would go on to represent the country in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2022, should they fulfil the age criteria. Their performances against the likes of Sweden and Thailand were not overlooked by the Manipuri footballer at all.

“They played well against Thailand and Sweden in Mumbai. Some of the players have the potential to make it to the senior team in due course of time. It will be great to see a junior player pushing the seniors and the competition will make the team more competitive and strong,” she opined.”If a girl starts playing at a young age she’ll be able to perform much better. As AIFF is putting constant effort in grassroots, our girls will reach a level to play professionally when they’re 14-15 years old,” stated Bala. “In 2022, the combination of the junior and senior players will be amazing. I can say that within the next ten years, we can achieve a higher ranking internationally.”

Credits: AIFF Media

For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football

Also Read: Indian legends recall memories of “best technical side of Asia”

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian football.

Lemon Break Sports FC to conduct trials for MFA 1st Division campaign

Lemon Break Sports FC is conducting trials for its first division side that will be playing in the MFA league for the upcoming season. Lemon Break SC is one of…

Share

Kenkre FC to conduct trials for Senior Women’s Team

Mumbai-based Kenkre FC are slated to conduct trials for their Senior Women’s Football Team on the 9th of October at Neville Dsouza Ground, Bandra. Kenkre FC have long been regarded…

Share

NLWS FC to hold trials for MDFA 3rd division

NLWS FC, a club based out of Dadar that will be playing in the MDFA 3rd division for the 2021-22 season will be holding trials next Sunday (10th October) Mauli…

Share

Income Tax Football team to conduct trials for Elite Division Campaign

MDFA Elite Division side Income Tax Football team will be conducting trials for ‘Guest Players’ for its upcoming 2021-22 season. The team is now looking to rope in few ‘guest…

Share

Oscar SSE to conduct trials for U 14 and U 16 category in Mumbai

Mumbai based Oscar SSE will conduct trials for their youth teams on 2nd and 3rd October at Wings Sports Centre ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star AIFF Accredited Academy plying…

Share

Footie First to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division team

Footie first will be conducting trials for its first team which will play in the MFA 2nd Division 2021-22 season. While the club has definitely set standards by winning the…

Share

Companeroes SC to conduct trials for MDFA 1st Division Campaign

Mumbai based MDFA 1st division side Companeroes Sports Club will be conducting open trials for their upcoming 2021-22 season. Players interested in appearing for the trials must have prior experience…

Share

Madanpura FA, Sara FA to host trials for the upcoming MDFA season

Sara Football Academy and Madanpura FA to host trials for MDFA Super division & 2nd division and 3rd division respectively on the 30th August 2021. Sara FA will be hosting…

Share

Mumbai Ultras FC invites all aspiring footballers for a trial

Mumbai Ultras FC is organising their trials for the upcoming season. The Mumbai Ultras play in the MDFA Super Division. The team is focused on the holistic aspects such as…

Share

Oscar SSE to conduct trials for multiple age-groups in Mumbai

Mumbai based Oscar SSE will conduct trials for their youth teams on 17th April at the Karnatak Sports Association ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star AIFF Accredited Academy plying their…

Share