Goa’s loss might be Jharkhand’s gain as far as FIFA under-17 women’s world cup 2021 national camp is concerned.
Sources in the Jharkhand chief minister secretariat said a discussion was held between All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel with Hemant Soren on Saturday evening on the prospect of making the state a hub of women’s football beginning with hosting of the national camp for the FIFA U-17 world cup probables.
“It was nearly a half-an-hour discussion between the AIFF president and the chief minister on Saturday evening. The chief minister expressed desire to host the national camp after being informed about Goa’s inability to resume the national camp. The chief minister also requested AIFF support for Jharkhand to emerge as the epicentre of Indian women football and also sought permission to host some international competitions in 2021. The AIFF president gave very positive indications of considering the demands and hinted at the state getting the chance to host the remaining phase of the national camp for FIFA under-17 women’s world cup from mid-August,” said the source.
AIFF secretary Kushal Das in a letter addressed to secretary sports, Jharkhand, Pooja Singhal, on Monday intimated about postponement of the national camp for FIFA women’s under-17 world cup at Goa and gave permission for the state to accommodate the eight girls from Jharkhand among the probables in the coaching camps.
“The directorate of sports (Jharkhand) might proceed with the camp from July 15. Kindly note that the national team camp in Goa has been postponed from the earlier planned July 20, 2020,” the letter from AIFF secretary stated.
“We would be happy to host the national camp for women Indian probable for the prestigious FIFA U-17 world cup meeting all guidelines laid out by the AIFF,” Hemant said.
Incidentally, eight out of the 34-member Indian women probables for FIFA under-17 women’s world cup are from Jharkhand. The FIFA U-17 world cup for women is scheduled to be held in February-March 2021 at five locations across India (Navi Mumbai, Guwahati, Ahmedabad, Calcutta and Bhubaneswar).
Singhal acting on the directive of Hemant (who also holds the sports portfolio) had earlier this month sent a letter to the AIFF general secretary Kushal Das requesting permission to host the national camp, supposed to be held in Go and suspended because of Covid-19 pandemic.
Significantly, the women players from Jharkhand in Indian probable for the FIFA U-17 world cup had been in their houses in remote villages after the national camp was suspended creating problems in their diets in April and May. After the chief minister’s intervention, the sports department has sought permission from the AIFF to accommodate the probables at Birsa Munda stadium hostel in Morabadi and informed it about various facilities available in the stadium and assured of meeting all SOPs for Covid-19.
The AIFF secretary had in a letter on July 7 given permission for the camp and asked the state to conduct Covid-19 test for the probables.