TN to host its first-ever women’s state league

Sethu FC will hope to replicate its exploits from the previous season when it won the IWL.

Sethu FC will hope to replicate its exploits from the previous season when it won the IWL.  

Winner will qualify for the IWL

Tamil Nadu will host its first-ever women’s state football league from December 19 with seven teams participating. The winner will qualify for the Indian Women’s League (IWL) — the top flight of women’s football — next year.

Sethu FC, Sethu FA, Minerva FC, Thamizhachi FC, Football +, Wow Women and Tamil Nadu Police are the seven teams. IWL defending champion Sethu has fielded two teams — senior side Sethu FC and its academy squad Sethu FA.

The league, to be held at SDNB Vaishnav and Nehru-B, will be played from December 19 to 31. It will resume in early to mid-January when players, who are participating in the all-india inter-university tournament (Odisha) and Khelo India Games (Guwahati), return to Chennai.

Three matches will be played on one day with kick-offs scheduled for 7 a.m., 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Fixtures will be held with a gap of three days, as per the criteria laid down by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). Every team will face each other once and the league leader will be adjudged winner.

Seeni Mohaideen, chairman of the women’s committee of the Tamil Nadu Football Association, said that the state plans to expand the league next year. “We wanted to conduct a state league for women’s football last year but it didn’t happen because only a couple of teams showed interest. This year, we had more teams showing interest so we formed a seven-team league,” he said.

Indumathi returns

The state league will see the return of Indian midfielder Indumathi Kathiresan, who has been missing from the Tamil Nadu State and Indian women’s football teams for a while now.

The 25-year-old last played for Sethu in the IWL in May this year. Since then, she has been out of action. The reason for her absence was that she was reportedly not permitted by her employer Tamil Nadu Police to represent either the state or the country.

Now back to competitive football after close to seven months, she will represent Tamil Nadu Police in the league.

“I missed playing for the country. After watching the Indian team win the South Asian Games in Kathmandu recently, I was very upset that I couldn’t be there. I am relieved now,” said Indumathi.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 1:55:53 AM |

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