All Indian Football Federation has decided to postpone the 5th edition of Hero Indian Women’s League amidst ongoing Corona virus pandemic and fear of a third wave.
Odisha was decided as the venue to host the 2020-2021edition of the Hero Indian Women’s League(HIWL) by the All India Football Federation earlier, but the dates of the tournament were yet to be finalised then. And now even more insureity has arisen on the tournament’s commencement dates.
Gokulam FC Kerala are nominated by the AIFF to represent in AFC Club Championship following the postponement of the 5th edition of Indian Women’s League
Bhubaneswar was earlier selected by Odisha Sports and AIFF as the venue to hold the 5th edition of the Indian Women’s League in 2021, during AIFF’s meeting in February, with the football federation looked to uplift women’s football in India.
However, tournament had to be postponed owing to the second wave of the pandemic which had hit the country hard, and now as the third wave looks imminent, the federation has decided to keep the competition on hold.
However, the League Committee has kept its options open, as they decided upon conducting it later in a proposed new window subject to health parameters.
“We would like to inform you that after having a discussion with the local organising committee (Odisha Sports), AIFF has decided to postpone the 5th edition of the Hero Indian Women’s League (HIWL) for a few months keeping in mind the monsoon, and an expected third wave of infections.” AIFF secretary Kushal Das had earlier stated in a letter to AFC general secretary Dato Windsor John.
The All India Football Federation has instead nominated Gokulam Kerala FC, who were the winners of the 2019-20 edition of the Women’s League, to represent India in the upcoming AFC Club Championship, as the current edition of the Indian Women’s League stands postponed.
Usually, the winners of the Women League in the current edition competes in the prestigious Asian tournament but since it can’t be held at an immediate notice, the federation nominated the champions of the fourth edition, Gokulam FC Kerala.
“We are honoured to be nominated by the AIFF. We are happy that our women’s team will play the continental championship before our men’s team. We will be starting our camp soon and we will try to bring the first AFC cup to India.” Gokulam Gopalan, FC Gokulam’s club chairman said in his statement.
“We want our women team to lift the AFC trophy first and set an example for our men’s team,” Gopalan further added, as he vouches to continue to invest in women’s football.
“Now it’s a matter of assembling a good squad and getting ready for this Championship which will be a very good exposure for the girls. Hopefully, everything works out well and we are ready for this,” further added Gokulam president VC Praveen, who expresses his pride as the representatives from India in the inaugural edition of the AFC Club Championship.