The upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup will turn India into a hotspot for women's football, feels senior national team captain Ashalata Devi.
The age-group women's tournament will be held in the country from October 11-30.
"India is going to be the hotspot for women's football due to the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup," Ashalata said.
"Many people in India don't know about women's football but with this tournament being telecast on television, the people in many parts of our country will get to know how far women's football can go.
"This FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup is a great opportunity for the future of Indian women's football." She urged the people of India to come out in large numbers and support the tournament.
"I would like to tell everyone that the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022 needs your support. The players will get even more motivated after receiving support from you."
"I would like to tell all parents to support women's football as well. If your children want to play football, then support them in moving forward in the sport." The Indian captain also spoke about how people's perceptions of women's football have changed over the years.
"Earlier it was difficult for people to accept girls playing football, but now everyone around my home supports me. I receive a great reception whenever I go to my hometown after any tournament."
"The people come to my home and ask me about how their kids can get into football. I feel the changes have taken place in the years since I started playing for India."
The Indian team is slated to play all its group matches at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
The host nation has been drawn in Group A along with Brazil, Morocco and USA. The other two venues for the tournament are Goa and Navi Mumbai.