Former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia said that Indian women are more likely to play in FIFA World Cup much ahead of their male counterpart.
“If we compare with men, women’s ranking and record is much better. If India plays in the world cup, I think women’s team will participate much ahead of men,” Bhutia told reporters in Dibrugarh during a promotional event.
Bhutia, the poster boy of Indian football in 1990s and 2000s, however, feels that women sports must be given more encouragement and promotion.
“Definitely women football in India is growing though more promotion is needed. Not just in football, in other sports as well, women should be getting more promotion and encouragement. For men, there are academies and I-League and ISL teams but when we talk about women, there is no academy,” Bhutia added.
The Sikkimese Sniper also feels that the FIFA Women Under-17 World Cup is a stepping stone for India and women’s football.
“It will be a great motivation for the girls and women football overall,” he reckoned. The under-17 world cup which was scheduled to be held this year has been postponed till February next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bhutia, who represented FC Bury in England, further said that the young generation of India is watching more football than cricket.
“As per data, youths under-16 are watching more football than cricket. This is a good sign for football,” he said.
Bhutia runs Bhaichung Bhutia Football School all across the country. He said that they train around 5,000 kids everyday in their academies.