History of India Women’s National Football Team

History of India Women's National Football Team

This article will tell you about the history of India Women’s National Football Team

Women’s football has a long and fascinating history in India, although it is not as well-known as the men’s game.

Despite this, the Indian women’s football team has been one of the most successful national teams in the region, with a number of impressive achievements to their name.

The Origin

The origin of women’s football in India can be traced back to the 1970s. The women’s football teams were first established in states like West Bengal, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.

The first national women’s football championship was held in 1976, and this helped to boost the popularity of the sport across the country.

The Indian women’s national team played its first international match in 1981, against the Philippines in a friendly game. However, it was not until the late 1990s that the team began to make a serious impact on the international stage.

Success & Achievements

In 1997, the team won the SAFF Women’s Championship, which was the first major international tournament won by an Indian women’s team.

In the years that followed, the Indian women’s football team continued to perform well in regional competitions. They won the SAFF Women’s Championship again in 2010, 2014, and 2016, and finished runners-up in 2012 and 2019.

Indian Women's football
Indian Women’s football

The team has also competed in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, which is the most prestigious women’s football tournament in the region, on several occasions.

One of the most notable achievements of the Indian women’s football team was their performance in the 2010 South Asian Games, where they won the gold medal.

The team put in a series of impressive performances throughout the tournament, culminating in a 5-4 victory over Nepal in the final.

Challenges & Initiatives

Despite these achievements, the Indian women’s football team has faced numerous challenges over the years. One of the biggest obstacles has been the lack of investment in the women’s game.

The women’s team has often had to train on substandard pitches, and players have had to pay for their own travel and accommodation for international tournaments.

Another challenge has been the lack of exposure for the women’s game. While the men’s Indian Super League (ISL) has become one of the most popular football leagues in the region, the women’s game has struggled to attract the same level of attention. This has made it difficult for the women’s team to attract sponsorship and funding.

Despite these challenges, the Indian women’s football team has continued to make progress. In recent years, there has been a renewed focus on developing the women’s game in India.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has launched various initiatives to support women’s football. For example, the AIFF has launched a Women’s Football Development Program. This initiative aims to create a more structured pathway for women’s players.

The Indian women’s football team has also been supported by various corporate sponsors, such as Tata Steel. The company has provided funding for training and development programs.

There has also been an increase in media coverage of women’s football in India, with several television networks broadcasting matches and tournaments.

Further Success

In 2019, the Indian women’s football team made history by qualifying for the second round of the Olympic qualifiers for the first time. The team defeated Indonesia 2-0 in the first round before losing to Myanmar in the second round.

Although they did not qualify for the Olympics, the team’s performance was a major achievement and demonstrated the potential of women’s football in India.

Today, the Indian women’s football team continues to work towards achieving its goal of qualifying for the World Cup.

While there is still much work to be done to develop the women’s game in India, the team’s recent successes have given hope to the next generation of female footballers in the country.