U-17 World Cup will help change overall mindset about women’s football in India: Bala Devi – football
National workforce striker Bala Devi feels the forthcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2022 will help change the overall mindset about women’s football in India. The event was initially scheduled to be held this 12 months however was first postponed to 2021 after which pushed again by one other 12 months to 2022.
“Earlier, we didn’t see many girls play football. Now, the numbers have gone up significantly. In the FIFA U-17 World Cup, more girls from various countries will come to India and our girls will get an opportunity to rub shoulders with the world’s best. That will help change the overall mindset,” the Rangers Women FC ahead informed AIFF TV.
The All-India Football Federation (AIFF) is ready to host the second FIFA World Cup in 5 years, and the 30-12 months-outdated striker feels that it will help the nation “shine” on a worldwide stage.
“It will make India shine brighter. All the boys who played in FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017, are competing in the top tier league now. I believe it will be a great opportunity for our girls to get noticed internationally, let alone in India,” acknowledged Bala.
She recalled how she was criticised for taking part in football however her father, who himself was a state-stage participant, beat the chances to help her realise her dream.
“I used to play with the local boys initially. Many people started talking about my playing and started criticising me My father was a footballer and he used to motivate me always. Even today, he is my go-to person for any kind of football query, however silly it may be,” she mentioned.
“He taught me to think about football 24/7 and even sleep with a ball in the bed. Sometimes, I even kicked in the middle of sleep and that’s how the passion grew within me. I would request all the parents to encourage and back their children so they can attain their dream.”