Indian Super League (ISL) side, Bengaluru FC recently announced that they plan to start under-11, under-13 and under-15 girls teams this season, thereby marking their entry into women’s football.
As per a release from the club, the management will start with age-group women’s teams this year, with the senior team expected to take shape in due course. The selection trials for the same are scheduled to be held at the Bangalore Football Stadium on September 25.
India's biggest footballing star and the national team skipper, Sunil Chhetri expressed his delight at the recent development while announcing the step in a video on social networking site, Twitter.
“Everyone at the club is very happy at the news of Bengaluru FC starting its women’s team, and as the captain, I am very excited about this development. It’s something we’ve spoken about in the past, but wanted to do at the right time and in the right manner. This is the start of something special”
Bengaluru FC's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mandar Tamhane too confirmed that they are taking steps in order to promote the sport in the country, with the hope that they will have a women's team playing in the top division in the future.
“We have had the discussions at the club about getting into women’s football for a while now, and we would have made this move a year earlier if not for the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, there are a lot of competitions for the girls to take part in, and the Karnataka State Football Association has also taken steps in this respect by having the Super Division and the A Division running. There are a lot of communities too that are conducting competitions that our girls can participate in, and that will help in the all-round development of the players.
“It was a conscious decision to start with the under-11, under-13 and under-15 teams, because we want to make sure that we build this on the right foundations. The upcoming AFC Women’s Asian Cup and the U17 FIFA Women’s World Cup will create a lot more awareness about the women’s game, and the All India Football Federation is also doing a lot to promote the sport in this regard. This is just the start, and we will slowly climb up the ladder and have a women’s team playing in the top division soon.”