The All-India Football Federation is contemplating to make the AIFF Indian Women’s League a 24-team affair. The move is influenced by the Indian women’s football team recording a constant upward swing in their performance graph.
The AIFF has reportedly taken notice of the national team climbing six rungs to reach the 57th position in the FIFA rankings in July while reaching a 66.7% victory rate in their 18 matches since January this year.
The first reward for women’s football may come in the form of the 12-team IWL being extended to a 24-team league with each team getting to play 18 matches from next year, national daily Times of India has reported.
“A new format is being planned by Doru Isac, the AIFF technical director, along with the league department. The idea is to expand the IWL to a 24-team league next season, where every team will play at least 18 matches,” TOI has quoted AIFF general secretary Kushal Das as saying.
The longer league will help players in terms of more opportunities and exposure to enhance their skills.
Better international exposure over the past few years has enabled Indian eves reach the Round 2 Olympic qualifiers and scores wins over Nepal and Indonesia and hold Myanmar to a 3-3 draw.
The AIFF has reportedly also devised short and long-term goals for the Indian women’s team. “The AIFF’s short-term goal for women’s football is to qualify for AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 as the qualifiers are scheduled to start next year. The long term goal, at this moment, is to obtain a podium finish in Asian Games 2026,” claimed Das.