Three generations of Indian women footballers gathered at the Benaulim ground here on Sunday to celebrate International Women’s Day.
In an event organised by the Local Organising Committee of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020, current and former players were seen inspiring the future footballers.
Former Indian women’s team captain Bembem Devi and current skipper Ashalata Devi were among those who interacted with the India U-17 squad and more than 100 girls from schools and NGOs around Goa.
Bembem Devi and Ashalata Devi too shared their experiences with the U-17 squad who are likely to be among the first Indian female players to take part in a FIFA tournament.
“It is clear today and very encouraging that the game has been on the rise since I started playing. I am sure that the whole nation will rally around and support the team in November when they take the field,” said Ashalata Devi.
One of the highlights of the day was to see Precious Dede, India’s U-17 goalkeeping coach and four-time FIFA Women’s World Cup participant with Nigeria, give a goalkeeping masterclass to the school children.
LOC Tournament Director Roma Khanna said, “With India hosting the FIFA U- 17 Women’s World Cup later this year, we wanted the girls to get a glimpse of what it takes to be a professional footballer.”
FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020 is going to be held in Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Kolkata and Navi Mumbai.
The tournament will kick off on November 2, and the final will be held on November 21.