India all set for the biggest football festival – FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup
Realising the impact such a major international tournament can have on the footballing landscape of India, the ‘Coach Education Scholarship Programme’, which is a special effort to nurture more female coaches at the grassroots and instil in them leadership qualities, was envisioned. Thus far, 16 editions of the same have been conducted with nearly 400 women graduating as officially certified football coaches.
Speaking about the events conducted and initiatives undertaken thus far, AIFF President and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the tournament, Mr. Kalyan Chaubey said, “Hosting the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup is an honour as well as an opportunity for the entire nation. Remaining cognizant of the positive impact such a major international tournament can have on the ecosystem of Indian football, the LOC – in collaboration with FIFA, the Government of India, AIFF, the respective state governments and all our respected stakeholders – has taken multiple initiatives to further the progress of women’s football.
“Encouraging representation at the grassroots, promoting gender-inclusive participation and equipping more women with leadership qualities have been the primary focus of all the activities and events en route to hosting the biennial youth competition. We are thankful to all our stakeholders who have shared a common vision in executing the different editions of the Coach Education Scholarship Programme, the Kick Off The Dream™ Football Carnival and the other events.”
In order to promote and encourage gender-inclusive participation, the ‘Kick Off The Dream Football Carnival’ was launched in April 2022. Editions of this carnival have been organized in Maharashtra, Goa and Odisha and is slated to engage 70,000 children across the host states of the tournament in the various football-themed fun games and activities and five-a-side tournaments.
Recognizing exemplary work done by women in society, the LOC invited six inspirational women who have displayed leadership qualities to uplift their communities to the official ticket launch event and conferred to them the honour of being the first ticket holders of India’s first-ever FIFA women’s competition.
In September 2022, the hon’ble Chief Ministers of Odisha, Goa and Maharashtra launched the official Host City Logos for the tournament in their respective states.
“Having crossed every milestone together, we now look forward to hosting the 16 participating nations and providing them the best possible platform to showcase their skills and mesmerise the global audience. We further invite every Indian football fan to be a part of India’s first-ever FIFA women’s competition and show their support from the stadiums in our three host cities,”
concluded Mr. Kalyan Chaubey, as India gears up for a historic tournament which will see an official winner’s trophy of a FIFA women’s competition be lifted on Indian soil for the first time.