AIFF launched India’s first ever Women’s Football Professional League
As per the All India Football Federation, the Women’s Professional League is expected to give India’s women footballers the option to take the sport as a career.
All India Football Federation (AIFF) on 24 January 2017 launched the Women’s Professional League (WPL) in New Dehli. The WPL is the first ever such league in the country.
The league was launched by AIFF President Praful Patel in the presence of Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel and the 2016 Summer Olympics wrestling bronze medalist Sakshi Malik.
About Women’s Professional League
• The inaugural league will be held for two-weeks at the Ambedkar Football Stadium in New Delhi. The opening match will be held on 28 January 2017.
• 20 Teams from across 9 States had taken part in the first leg of the qualifiers. At the end of the qualifiers, 9 teams were qualified for the IWL prelims. The competitions were held in Cuttack in October 2016.
• From among the 9 teams, the top 6 teams were selected for the IWL final event.
• The six participating teams are - FC Alakhpura (Haryana), Jeppiaar Institute of Technology FC (Puducherry), Aizawl FC (Mizoram), FC Pune City (Maharashtra), Rising Student Club (Odisha) and Eastern Sporting Union (Manipur).
• The teams would play each other in a round-robin format with the top four teams advancing to the semifinals.
• The number of participating teams will be increased to 16 by next year.
About All India Football Federation
• The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is the governing body of the football in the country.
• Its primary responsibility is to manage the Indian national football team and the I-League, India's premier domestic club competition.
• The AIFF was founded in 1937. The federation gained FIFA affiliation in 1948.
• The AIFF was one of the founding members of the Asian Football Confederation in 1954.
• It is also one of the founding members of South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) since 1997.
• Its headquarters is located at Dwarka in New Delhi.