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After Spike in COVID-19 Cases, AIFF Postpones IWL Play-Offs

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) decided to postpone the Indian Women’s League (IWL) qualifiers under further notice due to the rise in coronavirus cases.

The qualifiers were supposed to commence on 7th April and the IWL final round is tentatively set to begin on 21st April.

It is absurd how AIFF could manage to organize the Indian Super League (ISL) but failed to stick to the IWL commencement deadlines. If ISL can be conducted in a bio-bubble, why not IWL? The question remains unanswered.

IWL 2019-20 winners Gokulam Kerala

Controversies Surrounding the IWL Season Five

Whether COVID-19 was an excuse made by the AIFF to mask the lack of transparency regarding IWL is something we will never be sure of.

A number of questions have risen up before the start of the IWL play-offs. How the allocations for the 12 spots have been decided is the question which needs immediate clarification.

One of the criteria to be eligible for the Hero Indian Women’s League 2019-20, set by AIFF is to organize a State Women’s League with at least 4 teams and every team should play at least 6 matches.

So, how is it that the Manipur League with 6 teams, each playing 5 games got a direct entry into the IWL, whereas the Goa League with 5 teams having played 7 games each, need to go through the process of qualifiers?

Two teams (Travancore FC and Gokulam Kerala) from the same state are in the qualifiers. What is the reason for behind this?

KRYPSHA did not even play in the State League and yet gets to play in the qualifiers. Again, there’s no clarification for this anomaly from AIFF.

Numerous states had hosted the state leagues but still the number of participating teams in the IWL has been restricted to only 12. Is AIFF saving on investments by not expanding the league? Game time has been a major issue for the Indian women footballers. So, why not include more teams? Is AIFF really bothered about women’s football development or is all the flare in the media just farce?

The IWL season five will begin soon and AIFF is yet to clarify a number of points. Will such a reluctant approach to the nation’s top division women’s professional football league really lead to the development we all dream of?

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