ANI Photo | Motivating factor, social mobility and improved profile for Indian women’s sports: First ticket holders talk about legacy of FIFA U-17 Women’s WC India 2022

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], October 18 (ANI): The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022 kicked off with great pomp and fanfare on October 11. The event, which is going to be a massive motivating factor for young female athletes around the globe, will go on till October 30, the day of the grand final in Navi Mumbai.
Staying true to the theme of motivating and helping open doors for the young athletes, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the tournament put the spotlight on six inspiring women as the first ticket holders of India’s first-ever FIFA women’s competition.
Speaking on the occasion, Yolanda D’Sousa, Indian women’s football’s first hat-trick scorer, was quoted as saying as per a press release from FIFA, “India hosting the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup is a dream come true for me. My energies have been sky-high since the news was announced that India will be hosting the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. I am just really pleased to be one of the first ticket holders for the tournaments. I am extremely excited about the talent that I will get to see in the matches. I will make sure my voice is one of the loudest in the stadium as I cheer the players on.”
Meanwhile, Premlata Barik, who has close to 4 decades of experience in working towards eradicating maternal and infant mortality, said, “I believe sports is the perfect way to elevate the status of women in India, because it has the power to offer them opportunities for social mobility and sustain themselves individually, especially in rural areas where a lot of the women in the U-17 Indian squad are from. I am sure they will go on to become role models for a lot of the young girls who will watch them play in the stadiums or on television.”
“India has done a wonderful job at hosting all the international squads making sure they do not face any discomfort. The buzz around the tournament has also been fantastic and the atmosphere during the group stage games has been electric,” added Barik.
A mentor for the vulnerable sections of society, Sabah Khan, one of the six first-ticket holders for the tournament, believes the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022 paves the way for a more equal world.
“Apart from me, there is going to be another 40 girls in the stadium and they have booked tickets for the matches, so that is the kind of excitement we are talking about. The World Cup is symbolic as there are women from all parts of the globe coming together and this allows for a space where you get to know each other much better. I think football is a fantastic platform to help us work towards a more equal and more just world,” she said.
Coach Shabana Qureshi is also understandably excited about the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022, and hopes that the magic rubs off on young female athletes, including her daughter.
“The younger girls will get a lot encouragement from the World Cup, the girls in the Indian team are very lucky, but the others after that will put in the extra effort and the coaches, like me, we will motivate them to work harder. I also hope that my daughter can reach those high levels and this World Cup will be encouraging for both the youngsters and the parents of the girls,” she explained.
Sabina Martins, who has been battling for women’s empowerment for the better part of the last three decades, is delighted to be part of a historic tournament in India, and is keeping her fingers crossed so that the spotlight of the World Cup causes a few waves in the years ahead.
“The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup is an exciting moment for women’s sport in the country, as it creates female role models which consequently helps youngsters inclusively. A big stage like the World Cup puts the spotlight on some very young and talented athletes, and that motivates the next generations, who will keep fighting that extra bit harder to reach the highest level. All these snowballs into creating a better environment and ecosystem for the young girls,” Martins quipped.
Watching on with keen interest, Dr Lata Gaude expressed her joy about the fact that the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022 has come to India, and praised the way things have been put together.
“I was supremely delighted when it was announced that India will be hosting the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and to be one of the first official ticket holders fills me with immense joy and pride. I believe India is a sleeping giant when it comes to football. I have lived in Goa for a number of years now and the passion of the people here for the sport is unfathomable,” Gaude said.
“The tournament has helped revolutionise the perception of women’s football in India and will have a long-lasting effect, that will see India produce footballing superstars of the future. I am extremely pleased to see the seamless organising capabilities of the local authorities in India, who have all done a fantastic job at making sure the World Cup is a massive success,” added Lata.
The seventh edition of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup is being played across three venues in Bhubaneshwar, Goa and Navi Mumbai. India, the hosts, are placed in Group A, with Brazil, Morocco and USA. (ANI)

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This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.

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