Tamil Nadu will host its first-ever women’s state league with seven teams – Sethu FC, Sethu FA, Minerva FC, Thamizhachi FC, Football +, Wow Women and Tamil Nadu Police – participating in the tournament. The winner will qualify for the Indian Women’s League (IWL) – the top-flight of women’s football – next year.
IWL champion Sethu has fielded two teams – senior side Sethu FC and its academy squad Sethu FA. Initial matches will be held between December 19 and December 31, with the League resuming later in January after the All India Inter-University tournament (Odisha) and Khelo India Games (Guwahati).
The league’s inaugural matches will be held at the SDNB Vaishnav Women’s College in the city, whereas the rest of the tournament will be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium’s ‘B Ground’ with kick-offs scheduled for 7, 9 and 11 am.
Seeni Mohaideen, chairman of the women’s committee of the Tamil Nadu Football Association, said that the state plans to expand the league next year. “We wanted to conduct a state league for women’s football last year, but only a couple of teams showed interest. This year, we had more teams showing interest, so we formed a seven-team league. It took us two months to form the league. Maybe next year we will have more teams,” he said.
Indumathi returns to action after seven months
The state league will see the return of India midfielder Indumathi Kathiresan, who has been missing from the Tamil Nadu State and Indian women's football teams for a while now. The 25-year-old promising striker last played for Sethu FC in the IWL in May.
"I am very thrilled to play again. I missed playing for the country. After watching the Indian team win the South Asian Games in Kathmandu, I was very upset that I couldn't be there. Now that I'll play again, I am relieved. We [TN Police] have been training at a ground in Pattinampakkam, and hope to do well," said Indumathi, who will represent her employer Tamil Nadu Police in the tournament.
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