AIFF conducts women's league workshop

New Delhi:In an attempt to bolster the launch of the National Women’s League, which is slated to kick-off later this year, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) conducted a workshop at its headquarters here on Tuesday. The workshop was intended to strengthen the national women’s team by developing a sustainable and competitive environment for women’s club football. The workshop for the proposed National Women’s League was attended by participants of various Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League clubs. Delhi Dynamos, Chennaiyin FC, Kerala Blasters, FC Pune City and Atletico de Kolkata were the ISL clubs which attended the event while among the I-League clubs, Bengaluru FC, Aizawl FC and Mumbai FC sent their representatives. Speaking on the occasion, AIFF’ general secretary Kushal Das said, "We believe that India has a lot of potential when it comes to women’s football and we want to capitalize on that." "We have the potential to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup and then go on to play the FIFA World Cup in 2019. Keeping in mind the planned development of women’s football we will launch the women's league in October and this workshop aims to get a consensus for successful launch of the league," he was quoted as saying by AIFF's official website. Explaining the calendar planned for the development of women's football and the national team, Das said, "The AFC U-19 Championship will be in October and we will have a national camp before that." "Next, we intend to hold the national championship in November and December, while the final phase of the National Women's League will be held in January/February 2017 building up to the qualifiers in April next year. "The women's league will also give us an opportunity to identify talent for the senior women's national team in our quest to qualify for the FIFA World Cup," the AIFF general secretary stated. The workshop also informed the attending clubs about the AIFF's National Women's League club licensing criteria, the structure of the proposed league and the roadmap for the qualification of the Senior women's national team for the AFC Women's Asian Cup 2018. "The workshop aimed to brief the participants in how we would like to launch the National Women's League, whilst encouraging their feedback as to how they can make the League better," AIFF’s technical director Scott O'Donell said. "We have done a lot of FIFA Live Your Goals programmes and we have seen the interest in the masses. We want to take this interest even further by launching the women's league," he added.