The Hero Indian Women’s League (Hero IWL) 2022, an AIFF flagship property and the top division of women’s professional football club competition in India will be kick-off in Bhubaneswar, Odisha from April 15.
This season will feature 12 teams that will fight it out for the top prize in Indian Women’s Football, and will fight it out in a league format from April 15 to May 26, with the champion getting the chance to play in the next edition of the AFC Women’s Club Championship.
The matches will be played at the Kalinga Stadium, the Seventh Battalion Ground and the Capital Ground.
Defending Champions Gokulam Kerala FC, who also join the league as the champions of Kerala, will join the champions team from 10 other states – Odisha Police (Odisha), Hans Women FC (Delhi), Kickstart FC Karnataka (Karnataka), Gokulam Kerala FC (Kerala), Sethu Madurai (Tamil Nadu), PIFA Sports Colaba FC (Maharashtra), Mata Rukmani FC (Chhattisgarh), Sirvodem Sports Club (Goa), Indian Arrows (AIFF’s Developmental Team), SSB Women FC (West Bengal), Sports Odisha (Odisha), and one club from the Hero IWL Qualifiers.
However, In an attempt to empower women, the West Bengal government has started the Kanyashree Football Tournament where the team of paramilitary forces SSB WOMEN FC lifted this year’s Kanyashree Cup.In final they beat Southern Samity.
They kept putting pressure on the Defence of Southern Samity all along and the game ended 1-0 in favour of SSB Women’s FC, who thereby lifted the Kanyashree Cup in their attacking style having played in the whole tournament like champions.
IFA General Secretary Joydeep Mukherjee wanted to organize a women’s football league among the all districts of West Bengal. We can say it’s his brain child.”We shared the idea with our sports minister ,Arup Biswas who readily accepted it and allocated a grant and infrastructure. Last year we had 17 teams and this year 22 teams and the entire game took place under CMS.The good part was that not only women players but the entire match was officiated by women’s refree.”
DULAR MARANDI , the captain of SSB Women FC shared her feelings. “I am really feeling so good. Specially team became champion under my captainship that is also giving me an another type of satisfaction. I tried wholeheartedly to perform the best for my team.
As per our demand SSB always try to provide all kinds of requirement like training equipments, diet, kits and exposure.
We all are soldiers and thats our primary duty, but SSB always gives us maximum time for exposure in sports. Besides that sometimes we also discharged some official duties as and when required..she added.
Why this women team of Sashastra Seema Bal participated in Kanyashree Cup I wanted to know from Anindya Sashmal, the coach of Sashastra Seema Bal .
“We are the registered team under IFA. So we have to play Calcutta women’s football league, Kanyashree Cup. Either affiliation will be cancelled.
Not only that, it is also a big and prestigious women tournament of Bengal. So we are always eager to play and try to perform the best in this tournament.
Mr. Sashmal also feels that, It is also the entry door of Hero IWL. So holding the championship of Calcutta women’s football league is also vital for them.
“This was much needed to promote Women’s football in Bengal.
We are planning to include 8 Quarter finalists of Kanyasree Cup to do a FUTSAL Tournamemt soon so that we can prepare a Bengal Women’s Futsal Team as well”. AIFF Match Commissioner, Aparup Chakraborty said.
Kanyashree Cup helped them a lot to prepare for IWL 2022..Anindya Sashmal added.
“I would like to see the team as a champion of Hero IWL 2022, the most prestigious women football tournament of India.Some players may represent Indian national team.Confidence level of players became high.
Players and coach both understood their strong and weak points which help us to rectify before Hero IWL.
The all over experience of Kanyashree Cup will help us in Hero IWL and later tournaments.”
However, SSB is ready to take this challenge and how they will perform in IWL only time will tell.