New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) The All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel said that football cannot be far behind when every field promotes the empowerment of women and girls to enable them to lead a life of dignity, exercise their choices and develop their capacities.
“We have now taken a holistic approach to building a national team and we want to ensure that girls can make a career out of football. India has transformed and women should have a choice to play football professionally. 1983 changed the face of cricket, in the coming years, we will see it happen for football and that applies to both girls and boys,” Patel said in a seminar on ‘Gender Equality through the medium of Football: Lessons and Prospects’, organised by CEQUIN India.
“Women’s football till 15 years back was a distant dream for many of us sitting here but as the world is progressing, we see more participation of women in every field of life so football cannot be far behind. I can see that at every level, everyone feels passionate about women’s game as much as men, which is a good and healthy sign,” he added.
Speaking on this occasion, Sara Abdullah Pilot, chairperson, of the women’s committee, AIFF said, “It is a great honour and privilege that India will be hosting the Under 17 FIFA World Cup for Women this year. It is so much more than just a tournament. It symbolises the strides that we have taken towards gender equality and is also a reminder of how much more there is to be done. It is only when all of us come together that we can realise the dream of all the girls and women in the country to reach their full potential. Sport can be a great medium to break the stereotype around women and this has been proven time and again.”