KOCHI: The All India Football Federation has decided to host the Senior Women's National Football Championship in Kerala which under normal circumstances should offer a big boost for the state.
However, at a time when the Kerala Football Association is trying to conduct their own Kerala Women's League, the AIFF's decision has come as a conundrum. Some might call it a good headache to have as this would mean more opportunities for women and the utilization of the infrastructure.
The senior women's championship will be held in three venues and at five stadia from November 25-December 9. "One way to look at it is that it is a good headache to have. Hosting a competition like the national championship is a positive thing for the state but the dates are clashing with our league especially considering the availability of players for the state league," said KFA secretary Anilkmar.
The state league is scheduled from the first week of November and is expected to go on for close to a month. This means the players who are expected to feature in the league may not be available as they might be summoned by for the camp of the state team.
All this raises the question of the scheduling of the national championship. "This is our final window to host the state league before the national women's league. Due to the restrictions of COVID-19, we could not hold it any other time. This raises the question of why the national championship has been scheduled now when we are racing against time to finish our state league because otherwise, we won't be able to send our representative for the IWL," added Anilkumar.
As things stand, Anilkumar shared that the KFA was planning to ask for an extension from the Federation when it comes to the state league and its completion and sending their representatives for the IWL. Meanwhile, the AIFF Executive Committee also complimented the Kerala state government for their 'unprecedented support' for the development of Indian football.
When it comes to women's football, Kerala is starting to emerge as a focal point. While Gokulam Kerala FC is all set to participate in the inaugural AFC Club Championship, the state is also increasingly turning into a venue that is hosting many women's competitions.
Besides the national championship, the state is also expected to host a few friendlies of the Indian national women's team shortly as it is playing a crucial part as women's football gradually grows and moves in the right direction. "Hosting all these competitions is always good but what is required is proper planning so that they can be conducted in the best possible way," concluded Anilkumar.