Shillong, Mar 22: The inauguration ceremony of the second edition of the Indian Women’s League (IWL) will be held at the State Convention Centre here on Saturday at 4PM, the Meghalaya Football Association (MFA) said today.

The MFA held a small press conference today to encourage the football-loving public of Shillong and adjoining areas to come out an watch top women footballers from around the country taking part. All the matches will take place at the JN Stadium, Polo Grounds.

There is no team from Meghalaya taking part, though there are two from Manipur – defending champions Eastern Sporting Union and KRYPHSA. The other five teams are Rising Student Club, India Rush Soccer Club, Sethu FC, Gokulam Kerala FC and Indira Gandhi Academy for Sports & Education.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) had earlier said that first match will be played on Sunday, but that has been pushed to next week. The final will be held in April.

MFA Vice-President and Chairman of the women’s committee Diverland Lyngdoh said, “MFA is happy that the AIFF gave the opportunity for Shillong to host the IWL this year. There is no team from Meghalaya because none of the clubs have developed a women’s team and it’s not allowed for the MFA to put up a team of its own as it has to be a club.”

MFA Treasurer Wanshanbor Kharkrang added that the Association has not been able to hold a women’s tournament because of the dearth of teams even though the MFA has had success at getting girls to take part in grassroots programmes.

Meanwhile, MFA CEO Arki Nongrum said that the terrific turnout for the South Asian Games’ women’s football final, where India defeated Nepal 4-0 in front of more than 20,000 spectators here in 2016, was a factor in the AIFF’s decision to award this year’s IWL to Shillong.

(TSR photo. From left – Meghalaya Football Association CEO Arki Nongrum, Vice-President Diverland Lyngdoh, Treasurer Wanshanbor Kharkrang)

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